Appeals court overturns conviction of LaTanya Clemmons

In a 2-1 decision, the Division 2 Court of Appeals has ruled that LaTanya Clemmons, sister of Lakewood Police shooter Maurice Clemmons, was wrongfully convicted of rendering criminal assistance. The search for Maurice led police to a home in Leschi, but Maurice was able to escape before officers bombarded the home with tear gas through the night.

LaTanya has served two years of her five-year term and was scheduled to be released next month due to good behavior as a non-violent offender. She was found guilty of helping Maurice’s convicted getaway driver Darcus Allen, but the judges ruled that it could not be proven LaTanya knew about Allen’s role.

From the Seattle Times:

While LaTanya Clemmons admitted to police that she drove Allen to a hotel and gave him money for a bus ride to Arkansas, prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she did so to help him escape prosecution for murder, the appeals court ruled.

“We can easily infer from the above evidence that Maurice was capable of and did commit the four murders. We can also infer that Allen was with Maurice on the drive to the car wash and that he drove Maurice away from the car wash after the shootings. But this evidence does not prove that LaTanya knew Allen actively participated in the murders as an accomplice,” the appeals court judges said in their ruling.

15 thoughts on “Appeals court overturns conviction of LaTanya Clemmons

  1. Too bad they let her off, but, she was out of our city for 2 years. Better than nothing. Let’s hope she goes to Arkansas.

  2. I hate to pick a fight with my Id, but I think it was all around bogus the way Seattle prosecuted Clemmons’ relatives. I’m glad the appeals court concluded that it was an overreach.

  3. The family aided in the flight of the driver and Clemmons, putting us all in danger even after Clemmons said at Thanksgiving he would shoot up a crosswalk or a school. It’s too bad Chrisheda Clemmons wasn’t prosecuted for failing to call police for more than an hour, then buying time for Maurice by driving to the precinct rather than calling. She made sure HER family was safe and left the rest of us to hang. And she got a new house and tons of $$ in damages out of it. Disgusting.

  4. I have no idea whether Ms. Clemmons was truly guilty or not, but it does seem to me she did her time, or at least short the one month of shortened sentence. So,… Why would our Procecuting attorny need to tie up our legal system, spend lots of our tax dollars and get what, one more month of prison time? Could it be the new trend of getting lots of publisity for an attorny that may go into private practice later ( raises his/her hourly rate ), or become a polititician? Seems a number of these wasted, high profile leal battles result in nothing but burning our tax dollars, and making a career for these lawyers. Really not sure of the value here, or to us (tax payor) long term. Leave Ms. Clemmons alone, and get a life!

  5. Linda, the defendant’s attorney filed the appeal, not the prosecutor. What are you talking about?

  6. When do you suppose this appeal was filed, last week? No doubt this case took awhile to work its way though the system. Hopefully it took quite awhile, she at least did serve some time for her part in this. And furthermore, the prosecutor is responsible for defending his case when it’s appealed. He/she doesn’t decide whether to defend the verdict taking into account how much more time the accused might serve, and assuming good behavior and all that. If the verdict was just they need to defend it on appeal. And really– does anyone really believe she didn’t know what happened? As if they suddenly needed to dash off to Arkansas for no good reason? Yeah, right. She knew.

  7. I thought Linda was referring to the state lawyer Lindquist appealing the appellate ruling to the state supreme court.

    I assume LaTanya knew that Darcus was in trouble and she helped him out, but the whole sequence of events was moving pretty fast. For now it stands that the court of appeals has found her not guilty of any crime.

    Clemmons committed a terrible crime and died for it. His driver got 420 years in prison. The state has chosen to argue for inordinate sentences for the Davis’s and Nelson and LaTanya on some very shaky evidence. I think it’s been mob justice and I hope the appeals courts can set it straight.

  8. Ryan, it’s called accessory to quadruple murder. Puhlease. I’m glad she did time and I wish Chrisheda Clemmons had been prosecuted, too. Many people could have died due to her foot dragging covering up for Maurice, then only saving her own neck at the last minute. This was a man who had vowed to shoot up a crosswalk or a school over thanksgiving dinner yet his family enabled the rabid dog to be loose in our neighborhood. The whole family was making money off of his illegal businesses and covering up for him for years, excusing his increasingly crazy (and eventually rapist) behavior. LaTanya knew what had happened and didn’t turn anyone in, just like Chrisheda and her husband. They only saved themselves from prosecution (and put their whole block and our whole neighborhood in mortal danger) by felon-walking (that’s walking really slow for those who haven’t seen it) in to the East precinct despite having a well working phone (well-working as evidenced by her chatting up Maurice numerous times over more than an hour while he was on the run). THIS is what happens when you HIDE MURDERERS. You do time and appeals take years. Perhaps more people in our community will take note.

  9. LIsten, if anyone I know or don’t know for that matter, comes stumbling into my house with a bullet hole in his stomach, carrying 2 big ass guns, and tells me they just gunned down a coffee shop full of police officers, then that person can have a ride anywhere in this world they want to go. I believe fear made these people help out. No jail time as ever stopped people from committing crimes. jail is not a good deterrent. It wouldn’t bring the officers back, and that nut Maurice clearly didn’t care who helped or not, he was going to commit this horrible tragedy with or without her help. Fear led these people to help Maurice Clemens, not the desirable urge to be a bad guy. Funniest part about it to me is, I can walk down the street sneeze extra loud and watch people jump in fear, so if a guy on a corner sneezing makes you nervous, then what would a cop killing, bullet hole in the stomach guy make you do? And in case you weren’t paying any attention the guy who drove him away from the coffee shop, didn’t get a day in jail for using this exact defense! Its easy to say what you would have done, or say what you think they should have done, but be honest aint no telling what any of you would have done if you were ever thrown into that situation.

  10. OK That defense works just until you are clear of the situation. The fact that you were afraid shows that you knew what was happening. The second you are clear of the situation you calll the police and tell them what happenned. That is what citizens do. Criminals let other criminals go. Darkus should be in prison. He knew and he did nothing about it.

  11. re: “And in case you weren’t paying any attention the guy who drove him away from the coffee shop, didn’t get a day in jail for using this exact defense! “

    Actually, you’re wrong. Maurice Clemmons’ getaway driver was sentenced to 420 years in prison.

  12. Del, why are you so concerned with this case? You have bashed C. Clemons every chance you get on this blog. What is your personal connection to this?

  13. I would think we all have a personal connection to the gunning down of four police officers. That the murderer fled to family homes the CD and Rainier Valley combined with the murder of officer Brenton right here in our neighborhood make this very personal. There remains concern that the precident is set for normalization of gunning down police officers. Clearly gunning people down in the CD is normalized. It is perfectly acceptable to a segment of the population and something that many people take no action on or delay action.

    LaTanya and Chrisheda Clemmons new exactly what had happenned, who did it, and where he was. They failed to act and/or delayed action. They protected a mass murderer who commited an assault on civilization itself. Chrisheda did the right thing at least one hour after she should have, probably much longer. The whole family could have helped – but the protected one of the most violent criminals in our city’s history. Shame on them.

    We will not tolerate murderers or their sympathizers and assistants. This is personal. It was an act of war against civilization. It is socialogically connected to the consistant shootings occuring here. Get on board and rally against violence. Take immediate action to protect yourself and report criminals. Chisheda only contacted police after she could not convince Maurice to go somewhere else. Only after whe was about to be personally involved. It was no big deal that the officers were murdered and more were in danger. It didn’t matter until they were coming to her door.

  14. I don’t think it’s bashing to restate C. Clemmons’ very own account of what actually happened. By her own account she did indeed talk to Maurice on the phone 4 or so times (as did her husband) over a period of an hour or more, never calling the police to alert them and help track down this murderer. Then – again avoiding the phone – she drove to the East Precinct to report the contact with him, buying him even more time. Can you imagine what would have happened on her very residential block if he had just decided to follow through on his thanksgiving threats to kill random children? Her delays allowed him to roam our city, endangering us all. He was a madman bent on killing. What is so hard to understand about why a fellow community member, with kids in school at the time coming and going to school in the CD, would find her behavior reckless and selfish?