Clemmons' friends, family seek new venue

Attorneys representing the six people accused of helping Maurice Clemmons after he gunned down four Lakewood police officers plan to ask that their clients' cases be heard outside Pierce County.

The attorneys told Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend on Wednesday that they have hired an expert to put together a report about why their clients can’t get a fair trial in Pierce County.

Defense attorney Philip Thornton told Arend the expert might have the report finished by next week. Arend is expected to schedule a hearing on the matter once the report is filed.

Attorneys for Rickey Hinton, Latanya Clemmons, Letricia Nelson, Eddie Lee Davis, Douglas Davis and Quiana Williams have expressed concerns before about the news coverage of their clients’ cases.

They convinced Arend to put a “media order” in place that dictates how news reporters and photographers are allowed to cover the case. Among the restrictions: No photographs of the defendants in shackles or handcuffs may be disseminated.

Also Wednesday, Arend ruled that the cases of Hinton, Williams and Latanya Clemmons could be tried separately from those of the Davises and Nelson. Hinton, Williams and Clemmons are to go to trial May 17, the other three in September.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors still are fighting about whether each defendant deserves a separate trial or if some should be tried together. Some of those arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.

All the defendants – who are charged with various counts of rendering criminal assistance – have pleaded not guilty.

Maurice Clemmons killed Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens on Nov. 29 at a Parkland coffee shop.

A Seattle police officer shot Clemmons dead two days later.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644