Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alleged Cop Killer Maurice Clemmons: "I'll Kill All You Bitches"

Maurice Clemmons, the only suspect in the Lakewood, Washington coffee shop killing of four police officers, has been shot and killed by a member of the Seattle Police Department. The final incident took place at around 2:40 this morning, when a SPD officer made a routine check on a stolen car. As he sat in his patrol car doing paperwork, Clemmons approached the vehicle. The officer got out of his vehicle, ordered Clemmons to stop and show his hands, and, when Clemmons refused to comply, fired shots. Clemmons was pronounced dead at the scene.

The News Tribune has a detailed story on alleged cop killer Maurice Clemmons here. Another insightful article by the Seattle Times appears here. Chronicled are explanations of his offenses and sentences, as well as a timeline describing how and why Clemmons was not in jail at the time of the massacre Sunday morning that left four Lakewood officers dead.

  • 1989 - Clemmons, age 16, convicted of eight felonies in Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and burglary. Total sentence: 108 years, to be served consecutively, not concurrently.
  • 1999 - Clemmons, then 27, applied for clemency, essentially stating that his crimes were a result of foolish youth, asking for mercy.
  • 2000 - Then-governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, commuted Clemmons's sentence, reducing it to 47 years and making him eligible for parole, which was granted, over objections from Pulaski County, Arkansas prosecutor, Larry Jegley.
  • 2001 - Clemmons was arrested on a parole violation, stemming from a robbery, but not charged. He wasn't served with charges until 2004, and they were dismissed amid arguments that prosecutors had waited too long to file their case.
  • 2003 - Clemmons applied again for parole, and Jegley's office objected again. The objections were overruled, and parole was granted.
  • 2004 - Clemmons arrived in Washington after being granted an out-of-state transfer.
  • May 9, 2009 - Clemmons was arrested for assaulting a sheriff's deputy, charged with multiple counts of third-degree assault, malicious mischief, and, later, second-degree rape of a child. Prior to assaulting the deputy, Clemmons was hurling rocks and bricks through the windows of neighbors' homes and passing cars. When officers responded, two of Clemmons's cousins were outside his home, and tried to prevent officers from entering the home to look for Clemmons. During the altercation, Clemmons emerged, punched a deputy in the face, and assaulted another deputy who arrived to help. All three men were taken into custody.
  • May 10, 2009 - Clemmons is released on a $40,000 booking bail through Aladdin Bail Bonds, which means he bailed out without seeing a judge for an arraignment first.
  • May 11, 2009, about 1:00 AM- Clemmons appeared in his living room and told two young relatives - girls, ages 11 and 12 - to fondle him. The two girls complied, because they were scared. The 11-year-old fled soon after, and wasn't seen for days. Clemmons continued assaulting the 12-year-old until she cried herself to sleep. Shortly after, still naked, he woke her up, demanded she accompany him into the bedroom he shared with his wife. He said he was Jesus, and that his wife was "Eve." Clemmons's wife begged him to let the girl go, and he did, but not for long.
  • May 11, 2009, about 4:00 AM - Clemmons woke members of his family and gathered them, demanding that they all remove their clothing. He said it was "beautiful that they were sharing the moment."
  • May 11, 2009, about 5:30 AM - Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrived after a 911 call from a family member. They took statements from the family about Clemmons's crazy behavior. Sighting Clemmons at another house, deputies tried to capture him, but he eludedthem.
  • May 12, 2009 - Clemmons was due in court for his arraignment on the May 9 charges, but didn't show up. A bench warrant was issued.
  • July 1, 2009 - Clemmons showed up in court, perhaps with the intent to try to get the bench warrant thrown out. He was arrested.
  • July 2, 2009 - Clemmons was charged with second-degree rape of a child for the incident involving the 12-year-old relative in May. He was also charged with being a fugitive from Arkansas, with the recent incidents intending to serve as evidence of parole violations.
  • July 22, 2009 - Arkansas notified Pierce County that they had no interest in extraditing Clemmons, thereby making him eligible for bail. Had Arkansas not released him, he would have been held without bail on the alleged parole violation.
  • A mental health evaluation of Clemmons was ordered and completed five weeks before Sunday's shootings. The evaluation included reports that Clemmons made the statement, "I'll kill all you bitches" to law enforcement personnel who took him into custody in May, as well as Clemmons's claims that he suffered hallucinations - "people drinking blood and people eating babies..." Psychologists found Clemmons competent to stand trial.
  • November 23, 2009 - Clemmons bailed out of jail when Jail Sucks, a bail bond company in Chehalis, Washington, posted his $190,000 bail.

All of this took place before he entered a Lakewood coffee shop on Sunday morning and killed four Lakewood Police Department officers. The officers' patrol cars were parked outside the shop, the were all in uniform, and they all wore bulletproof vests as they worked on reports on their laptops, preparing to start their shift.

Acquaintances have reported that, the night before the ambush, Clemmons told them to "watch the news" because he was going to kill some cops. The individuals did not report the threats until after the tragedy.

A lot of people have asked how Clemmons was out on bail in the first place. As the linked articles provide, Pierce County judges would have held Clemmons without bail, had Arkansas not released him to Washington.

One of the most disturbing things I read (outside, of course, the obvious tragedy that's occurred) was a quote from deputy prosecutor Grant Blinn:
“A typical child rape-2 defendant is summonsed into court, not even arrested,” Blinn said Monday. “A lot of them are released on their personal recognizance.”

RCW 9A.44.076 defines second-degree rape of a child as thus:

(1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the second degree is a class A felony.

Really? They usually don't arrest criminals on suspicion of class A felonies? When a twelve-year-old girl is raped? Personal recognizance? REALLY?

This Tacoma sex crimes lawyer (his URL is somewhat amusing: http://www.goodpeople-baddays.com) advises that a conviction of second-degree rape of a child carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years.

Let me get this straight - if a person is suspected of a crime egregious and dangerous enough to warrant, if convicted, a mandatory 25-year sentence, they are simply summoned to court? Not arrested?

Does anyone else see something wrong here?

Be sure to check out TheGonzoMama.com for more of Gonzo's musings!



When are we going to learn? protecting the public is more important than helping criminals adjust.

The Gonzo Mama said...

Certainly, Trestin. In this particular case, I think the most unfortunate thing is that Arkansas decided to release him to Washington, since he was facing so many charges, he was sure to "get his" in Washington.

Arkansas never should have released him. Otherwise, he still would be sitting in jail without bond.

Opus #6 said...

I am shocked by the callous disregard of the court to the horror of this type of crime.

Krispy said...

This is one of the most complete and thorough items I've seen about this tragedy. I'm disgusted to see so many fingerprints on this guy, all the way back to Mike Huckabee. Wow. It wouldn't seem outrageous to me to charge these bureaucrats with reckless endangerment. Well written, kudos.