Clemmons' relative seeks to move trial from Tacoma

Media: Coverage too widespread, he says

August 26, 2010 

Maurice Clemmons' relative asks for new venue

Rickey Hinton is led into Pierce County Superior Court, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, in Tacoma, Wash. Hinton was arrested for investigation of rending criminal assistance to Maurice Clemmons, who was accused of fatally shooting four Lakewood police officers on Nov. 29. (AP File Photo)


Maurice Clemmons' half brother wants his trial on charges he helped the infamous cop killer moved out of Pierce County.

Rickey Hinton said in court documents filed last week that he can’t get a fair trial at the County-City Building in Tacoma given the extensive media coverage that attended Clemmons’ fatal attack on four Lakewood police officers and its aftermath.

Hinton’s attorney, Philip Thornton, wrote in pleadings that the hundreds of stories on the case printed in newspapers, posted online and broadcast over the airwaves irreparably tainted the local jury pool.

Many of the stories included hostile comments about Hinton from local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, residents and relatives of the slain Lakewood officers, Thornton wrote.

Taken together, “the presumption of innocence is completely evaporated,” he wrote.

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said Wednesday his deputies would fight moving the case.

“First, I think to escape pre-trial publicity in this case, you’d have to move the trial outside the continental United States,” Lindquist said. “Second, I’m confident the residents of Pierce County can decide the case based on the evidence.”

Hinton, 47, is charged with three counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Co-defendant Douglas Davis, who also is charged with multiple counts of rendering criminal assistance, has joined Hinton’s request for a change of venue.

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