Suspect details his defense in officer shootings

COURTS: Clemmons employee says he wasn't aware of plans

March 4, 2011 

Attorneys representing cop killer Maurice Clemmons' suspected getaway driver outline their client's defense in a recently filed court pleading.

In short, they contend, Dorcus D. Allen did not know Clemmons planned to attack four Lakewood police officers on Nov. 29, 2009.

Attorneys Mary K. High and Peter Mazzone say Clemmons, who employed Allen, called their client that Sunday morning with instructions to wash a pickup.

Clemmons came to Allen’s home to drop off the truck, the attorneys wrote in a pleading asking for Allen’s trial to be moved out of Pierce County. Superior Court Judge Frederick Fleming denied that motion Wednesday.

The two were driving back to Clemmons’ house so Allen could drop him off when Clemmons directed Allen to pull into a car wash near the coffee shop where the officers died, the attorneys wrote.

Allen then went to a convenience store across the street to buy something, get change and use the restroom .

“Unbeknownst to Mr. Allen, while he was in the convenience store, Clemmons left the truck, went to the Forza coffee shop and shot and killed four Lakewood police officers,” High and Mazzone wrote.

Allen, 39, is charged as an accomplice with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronald Owens.

Jury selection for his trial will begin March 29.

Prosecutors filed the two sets of murder charges against Allen to give jurors options for conviction.

Allen has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege he drove Clemmons to and from the vicinity of a Parkland coffee shop knowing Clemmons intended to attack the officers.

Prosecutors also say Allen lied to investigators after the attack and was with Clemmons at least once when he threatened to kill cops.

A Seattle police officer shot Clemmons to death Dec. 1 during a confrontation there.

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