Court overturns convictions of Maurice Clemmons' sister
A state appeals court has overturned the convictions of cop-killer Maurice Clemmons’ sister, who is serving a five-year prison sentence she received for helping her brother’s getaway driver after the massacre of four Lakewood police officers in November 2009.
LaTanya Clemmons was scheduled to get out of prison next month after serving two years of her sentence.
She had appealed her convictions on two counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance with aggravating factors.
Among other things, she contended prosecutors had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she helped her brother’s friend, Dorcus Allen, evade police after he gave Maurice Clemmons a ride to and from a Parkland coffee shop where Clemmons gunned down Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens.
Prosecutors were required to prove LaTana Clemmons knew Allen had committed aggravated first-degree murder, or knew that police were seeking him for aggravated first-degree murder.
In a 2-1 decision released Friday, the Division 2 Court of Appeals held that prosecutors had not presented sufficient evidence to support either allegation at her trial in 2010. Given that, the rendering charge also was not adequately supported and should be overturned, the justices said.
A jury in 2011 convicted Allen of being an accomplice to four counts of first-degree murder for helping Maurice Clemmons, and Allen is serving a 420-year prison sentence. Four other people also were convicted and sentenced to prison for helping Maurice Clemmons in the wake of the killings.
As a nonviolent offender, LaTanya Clemmons qualified for a 50 percent reduction in her sentence after behaving well in prison, said Selena Davis, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
She received credit for 301 days she spent in the Pierce County Jail awaiting trial and sentencing, Davis said.