The sister of cop killer Maurice Clemmons was sentenced this morning to five years in prison for helping her brother’s alleged getaway driver following the massacre of four Lakewood police officers late last year.
A jury convicted LaTanya Clemmons, 34, of two counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance last Thursday.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend previously ruled that LaTanya Clemmons should be sentenced on only one count.
Pierce County prosecutors Stephen Penner and Kevin McCann filed a pleading Tuesday asking Arend to reconsider that ruling. They wanted Arend to sentence Clemmons on both counts, to a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Arend stuck with her prior ruling Thursday morning and sentenced LaTanya Clemmons to five years in prison. The standard range for rendering criminal assistance is six months to a year in jail, but the jury found that Clemmons’ crimes were worse than normal, qualifying her for the maximum penalty prescribed by law.
News Tribune courts reporter Adam Lynn attended the sentencing hearing and will update this post with more details soon.
FYI: There have been a couple of questions regarding what happens to LaTanya Clemmons’ conviction if Dorcus Allen later is found not guilty of being Maurice Clemmons’ getaway driver.
As far as I can tell, what happens in Allen’s case won’t matter.
The rendering law states that the person being helped must be sought (emphasis added) by law enforcement when the defendant helps him or her. Whether that person is later convicted apparently doesn’t matter.
In LaTanya Clemmons’ case, the prosecutors had to convince the jury that Allen was being sought by law enforcement for the commission of a crime when she drove him to Federal Way and bought him a motel room Nov. 29.