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UPDATED: Jury should get case against Maurice Clemmons’ alleged getaway driver today

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on May 12, 2011 at 6:00 am |
May 12, 2011 4:30 pm
Dorcus Allen, center, with his attorneys Mary K. High and Peter Mazzone (TNT file)


UPDATE 3 as of 3:45 p.m.: The jury got the case about 15 minutes ago after defense attorney Mary K. High delivered her closing argument on behalf of Dorcus Allen.

In summary, High argued Allen did not know what Clemmons intended that morning. The evidence showed he went to the nearby car wash thinking he was going to wash the pickup, she said.

“Maurice Clemmons acted on his own,” High said.

Look for a complete story tomorrow in the print edition of The News Tribune or on

UPDATE 2 as of 12:11 p.m.: The evidence is clear and convincing, deputy prosecutor Stephen Penner told a Pierce County jury this morning.

Dorcus Allen knew his friend and employer Maurice Clemmons wanted to kill cops, Penner said, and, on Nov. 29, 2009, Allen helped him achieve his goal.

“He knew,” Penner told the jury. “How could he not know?”

It took Penner less than 45 minutes to lay out his case. The deputy prosecutor delivered his remarks in a straight-forward tone accented with a hint of disdain, as if he were constantly stifling a scoff.

Allen knew Clemmons had been talking about killing cops for months, Penner told the jury.

Three days before the shootings, the defendant attended a Thanksgiving dinner where Clemmons reasserted his desire to murder police, the deputy prosecutor said. This time, Clemmons added he wanted to take out school children and others as well, Penner told the jury.

Clemmons even laid out his plan: He’d cut off an ankle monitor that let his bail bond company track his movements, and, when a probation officer or police officer came to investigate, “boom,” Penner said.

When Clemmons’ cousin asked him to stop talking that way, Allen shushed her, the deputy prosecutor said.

“We don’t know what the man’s been through,” Penner quoted Allen as saying that night.

Two days later, Allen admitted to detectives, he saw Clemmons’ ankle monitor, the strap sliced through, at the house where Allen lived with Clemmons’ sister.

On the morning of the murders, Allen twice drove Clemmons past a coffee shop where the Lakewood officers were gathered for breakfast, said Penner, adding that they were “casing” the shop.

Minutes later, Allen parked the truck at a nearby car wash and waited for Clemmons to fulfill his goal, Penner said.

Witnesses testified they saw a man resembling Allen acting like he was washing a pickup that morning.

Allen then drove Clemmons away from the scene, dropped him off at his home, dumped the truck at a grocery store and took a bus home, the deputy prosecutor said.

“He wasn’t just the getaway driver,” Penner said. “He was the get-him-there driver, the drop-him-off driver and the dump-the-truck driver.”

Allen’s story that he didn’t know what Clemmons intended is a cover and totally unbelievable, the deputy prosecutor added.

Who agrees to wash a truck for a man at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, a man who owns a pressure-washing business and lives just a few blocks from a car wash? Penner asked.

“Those officers are dead because Dorcus Allen helped Maurice Clemmons that morning,” Penner said. “He’s guilty, all four counts.”

Allen’s defense team will give its closing argument after the lunch break.

UPDATE as of 11 a.m.: The state has delivered its closing argument. The defense is now up.

Before the start of closing arguments, prosecutors On Wednesday, Judge Frederick Fleming, over prosecutors’ objections, dismissed the four second-degree murder charges against Dorcus Allen. The charges were initially intended to give jurors more options when deliberating the case against Allen.

The jury will now only weigh whether he’s guilty as an accomplice to four counts of aggravated first-degree murder.


Lawyers are set to deliver closing arguments today in the trial of cop killer Maurice Clemmons’ alleged getaway driver.

Dorcus Allen is charged as an accomplice with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the Nov. 29, 2009, deaths of Lakewood Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards.

Prosecutors contend Allen, 39, knew what Clemmons intended to do when he drove his friend and employer to and from the vicinity of a Parkland coffee shop where Clemmons killed the officers.

Allen has said he didn’t know Clemmons intended to kill the officers.

Jurors began hearing testimony nearly a month ago. The defense rested without calling Allen to the stand, although the jury heard a recording of him being interrogated by a Pierce County sheriff’s detective not long after his arrest.


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