Douglas Davis asks judge to reverse conviction in Clemmons case

January 12, 2011 

A former employee of cop killer Maurice Clemmons has asked a Pierce County Superior Court judge to throw out his convictions for gun possession.

A jury last month convicted Douglas Davis, 23, of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm but acquitted him of rendering criminal assistance to Clemmons.

Davis, who is to be sentenced Friday, faces 20 years in prison on the weapons violations.

He contends in recently filed court pleadings that those convictions are invalid.

Deputy prosecutors Stephen Penner and Kevin Mc-Cann dispute that and will ask Judge Stephanie Arend before Friday’s sentencing hearing to keep the convictions in place.

Co-defendants Eddie Lee Davis, 21, and Letrecia Nelson, 54, also are to be sentenced Friday. Both were convicted of rendering criminal assistance to Clemmons and of weapons violations.

Prosecutors will ask for maximum sentences for all three.

Eddie Davis faces up to 20 years in prison, Nelson up to 15.

Penner and McCann argued during trial that Douglas Davis “constructively possessed” a pistol Clem-mons stole from Lakewood police officer Greg Richards after shooting Richards and his colleagues Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens dead in a Parkland coffee shop in November 2009.

They told jurors that Douglas Davis didn’t handle the gun but had access to it when he, Clemmons and several other people gathered at a home in Pacific after the shootings.

Prosecutors also argued Douglas Davis was ready and willing to help Clem-mons at the time. That made him guilty of possessing the gun, they said.

Douglas Davis’ acquittal on the rendering criminal assistance charges undermines that argument, his attorney, Kent Underwood, argued in a pleading filed Dec. 22.

Without evidence of Douglas Davis’ intent to handle the gun, prosecutors simply proved he was in the same room as the firearm, Underwood said. That is not enough to convict someone of gun possession, the attorney argued.

“The state has not shown that Mr. Davis could have picked up the gun,” Underwood wrote. “There is not substantial evidence to support the jury’s verdict.”

In an interview Tuesday, Penner disagreed.

The deputy prosecutor pointed out that Underwood made the same arguments during pre trial motions and during the trial. The judge and jury rejected them, Penner said.

“There was enough evidence,” he said.

Of seven people arrested in the aftermath of the killings, five have been convicted of crimes. One – Clem-mons’ half-brother Rickey Hinton, 48 – was acquitted.

The final defendant, Clem-mons’ suspected getaway driver, faces trial later this year. Dorcus Allen, 39, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated first-degree murder. He faces life in prison without the possibility of release if convicted as charged.

A Seattle police officer shot and killed Clemmons less than 48 hours after he gunned down the Lakewood officers.

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