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Court documents portray Clemmons as “dangerous”

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm with 23 Comments »
July 14, 2010 11:35 am

Two state psychologists wrote in court-ordered report last month that the man suspected of gunning down four Lakewood police officers Sunday was dangerous and likely to commit violence in the future.

Licensed psychologists Melissa Dannelet and Carl Redick came to that conclusion in an report they prepared Oct. 19 as part of second-degree child rape and third-degree assault cases authorities have filed against Maurice Clemmons.

“Based on Mr. Clemmons’ documented criminal history, information obtained through interviews and treatment and a review of risk factors, it is our professional opinion that he presents with increased risk for future dangerous behavior and for committing future criminal acts jeopardizing public safety and security due to past illicit behaviors,” the psychologists wrote in their report.

Those risk factors included “previous violence, young age at first violent incident, relationship instability and prior supervision failure,” Dannelet and Redick wrote.

They went on to say, however, that they had “insufficient grounds” to recommend that Clemmons be civilly committed.

Their opinions are reported in a forensic mental health report ordered by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck to determine whether Clemmons was mentally competent to stand trial on the rape and assault charges.

The psychologists, who spent 75 minutes interviewing Clemmons and also reviewed numerous documents, concluded that the man now suspected in Sunday’s massacre at the Forza coffee shop in Parkland was competent to stand trial and appeared to be suffering from no mental disease when they evaluated him in jail on Oct. 14.

“It is difficult to ascertain the specific nature of the symptoms that he exhibited at the time of the alleged offenses as described in the discovery, but at the time of this evaluation, there was no evidence of a mental disorder,” they wrote.

On Nov. 6, van Doorninck signed an order finding Clemmons competent. She later ordered Western State Hospital to evaluate Clemmons again to determine if he was insane or had a diminished mental capacity at the time of the alleged rape and assault. That opinion is pending.

Clemmons’ attorney on those charges – Daniel J. Murphy Jr. – notified the court that he intended to pursue an insanity or diminished-capacity defense for his client.

Clemmons was arrested in May on the assault charges. Prosecutors contend he punched a sheriff’s deputy sent to investigate someone breaking windows.

At the time of his arrest, he allegedly made “religiously-themed comments, told the officer President Obama and Lebron James are his brothers, Oprah (Winfrey) is his sister and referred to himself as ‘the beast,’ ” the forensic report states.

Clemmons also made threats against jail staff when they tried to book him into jail, according to the forensic report.

“I’ll kill all you bitches,” he allegedly told corrections officers.

The state psychologists asked Clemmons during their Oct. 14 interview if he had thoughts of suicide or harming others.

“Sometimes I think about it – as soon as a person gets enough – everybody thinks the police can’t lie…” he allegedly told the psychologists.

Dannelet and Redick wrote that Clemmons “denied thoughts of harming any officers or anyone specific when pointedly asked.”

Clemmons went on to say he was suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations at the time of the alleged assault and rape.

Clemmons told the psychologists he hallucinated about “people drinking blood and people eating babies, and lawless on the street, like people were cannibals.”

He went on to say he had “no faith in the justice system” and that he thought he was being “maliciously persecuted because I’m black and they believe the police,” according to the psychologists’ report.

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. reformedliberal says:

    Oh, so close. But still… no media, anywhere, has come out and said which judge authorized bail.

    How come???

    And why is it OK to peg this on Mike Huckabee, but not on our own Superior Court “judges”?

  2. Mayor_of_Gomorrah says:

    What judge granted bail?

  3. Easy one: BUT FOR Huckabee, Clemency Clemmons would not even be in WA. Next question.

  4. TO ROGER AILES- Fire Huckabee immediately and O’Reilly for wussing out AGAIN.

  5. silicawood says:

    Huckabee’s political career is over. How can the psychologists not recommend civilly committed after everything he said? Broken system, hopefully some good can come out of this through reform.

  6. rolinmag says:

    It was Thomas Felnagle who reduced his bail from “no bail” on the child rape to 150,000 (15000 with bond). I would like to hear his reasons why, but of course, he is hiding. Huckabee commuted his sentence to 47 years based on the judge and parole board recc, he was later paroled, violated, went back in for 3 years and the prosecutors screwed up by not serving warrants on pending felonies and the charges were dropped. Lots of blame to go around, blood on the hands of many. Because of Felnagle, he was out on Weds and 4 fine officers were dead on Sunday.

  7. I’d also like to know IN NON-POLITICAL TERMS, just how & why bail occurred.

  8. The Judge has to set some bail. The constitution guarantees the right to bail that is reasonable given all of the circumstances. $150,000 is not low bail. That means whoever posted it had to have $15,000 in cash for the bail bondsman (Jail Sucks Bail Bonds in Chehalis in this case) and collateral worth at least $150,000. What has not been brought out is what amount the prosecutor requested. If they were only requesting $150,000 it would be reasonable for the judge to agree with the request. Judges are not supposed to be “proactive” they are supposed to be neutral between two competing litigants. The better question is what bail did the prosecutor request?

  9. Yes, we can all use our crystal balls and see what will happen 9 years from now. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

  10. I am glad to see that the right is treating Huckabee the same as they treated Dukakis. I honestly didn’t expect that.

  11. The doctors saying they did not have sufficient information for a civil committment is a way of saying “keep him in jail, not here”. If he was not exhibiting psychotic symptoms during the interview, was oriented, and could track a conversation, made no threats witih psychotic features he could not be “civilly” committed. That is a civil court standard different than the standard to hold someone on bail with pending criminal charges.

  12. Observationtower says:

    When a person is mentally ill, he does not realize his comments are the rantings of a mad man; he thinks the police are wrong. That is your clue a guy is mentally ill. When you commit such crimes as child rape, and you think the police are wrong to arrest you–that’s mental illness, brother.

  13. Judge Felnagle is a very, very good judge. He may not be allowed to say anything about this case under the judicial ethics rules. I feel certain he believed he was setting a very high bail that Mr. Clemmons was not able to make without substantial supervision by someone putting up a lot of money. Criticism of the Judge here is the worst of “Monday morning quarterbacking”

  14. Career criminals, repeat offenders, etc build careers for millions employed in criminal justice. Bail, early release, parole and probation create jobs for police,
    jailers, attorneys, judges – almost as if the “justice” system purposely keeps a revolving door of criminals on the loose to prey on society so those in criminal justice stay employed.

  15. DAKOTANATIVE says:

    Everyone wants to blame the other guy to hide the fact that they are the idiot. I think it was the Pierce County Prossecuter that said in one sentence that Arkansas told them to hold the guy with no bail, but then said it was Arkansas’s fault the guy was on the streets. Hello! Huckabee may have signed the papers, but he had alot of advice from people within the judicial system that he used to make the decision. The guy was 16, he spent 10 years in the lockup, and his crimes did not involve violence. And, the stipulation was added that if he so much as talk out of turn, he would be re-arrested and held with no bond. It sounds like he walked the straight and narrow for half dozen years. Pierce county has all the blood on their hands. The guy assulted officers, but they turned around and let him go. No, not everyone gets bail.

  16. rolinmag says:

    The Prosecuter, Lindquist,stated that they had asked for a “very high bail” and the judge set the lower one. Child rape? Should be no bail, which is what the original judge wrote. It is apparent that some laws and procedures need to be changed, but good luck with that.

  17. An accused child rapist and the bail is essentially $15,000. Hope the judge sleeps good at night in setting this bail. The judge had all of the information regarding this creep’s criminal history and he still set a low bail. Shameful and almost criminal.

  18. angileyz says:

    There is enough blame here to be shared… all involved could have made a different choice and didn’t for one reason or another. Lets all vow from this point forward to do all we can as citizens to make changes, doing whatever we can do so that nothing like this happens again. If we the public don’t demand change and do our part to make changes then the blood is on our hands too.

  19. Swordfish10 says:

    The thing is that this subhuman scum has 8 felonies on the record right here in Washington State. Animals like Clemmons do not belong out on the loose in normal society. Period. This means we have a very serious problem right here in Washington State’s ‘justice’ system. Who really cares what happened 9 years ago in another state and what political points can be scored? Those of you who engage in this silly political oneupmanship are a disgrace, shame on you. Decent people have lost their lives right here and those in prominent positions right here in Washington have dropped the ball big time. The spotlight is on and we need to clean up our own backyard, or history will repeat itself.

  20. frankiethomas says:

    He was up for a potential third strike – the law needs to be changed that a potential third strike is a no bail situation becasue the defendant has NOTHING TO LOSE.

  21. Swordfish10 says:

    frankiethomas; excellent suggestion right there! After all, why would any reasonable person be opposed to really cracking down on habitual felony criminals and getting rid of loopholes ?

  22. I’m sorry ? Non-violent crimes in Arkansas. I guess DAKOTANATIVE’s definition of violence is different from mine. Give me a break.

  23. rolinmag says:

    frankiethomas: That is what is so frustrating! The original judge handwrote “no bail” and Felnagle overrode him and set the lower one. Yeah, what does he have to lose? Kills 100 police and in this state, would probably get life anyway. Notice how the mental excuse started to come out right away? But….Felnagle told him “Now no firearms, and wear an ankle bracelet”. He cut it off and got himself at least two guns and off he goes. What a system.

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