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UPDATED: Jury convicts Dorcus Allen in slaying of four Lakewood officers

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on May 19, 2011 at 11:10 am with 38 Comments »
May 19, 2011 1:38 pm
A Pierce County jury convicted Dorcus Allen, center, of four counts of first-degree murder on Thursday, May 19, 2011, in Tacoma in the deaths of four Lakewood police officers. (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

A Pierce County jury today convicted Dorcus Allen of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four Lakewood police officers. The jurors, however, did not find him guilty of the aggravated circumstances and did not find he was a major participant in shootings.

“Justice was done in this case, and we’re thrilled with this verdict,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said outside the courtroom. “You don’t have a getaway driver who doesn’t know what’s up.”

Peter Mazzone, one of Allen’s defense attorneys, had a different reaction.

“I think an innocent man was convicted,” Mazzone said. “We’ll appeal as quickly as we can. This was a lynching, man.”

Allen, 40, was accused of driving Maurice Clemmons to and from the vicinity of a Parkland coffee shop where Clemmons gunned down Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Gregory Richards on Nov. 29, 2009.

Prosecutors argued Allen knew what Clemmons intended to do that Sunday morning when he drove him near the scene then waited at a nearby car wash for his friend and employer to return from the massacre.

Allen admitted driving Clemmons around that morning but said he had no idea Clemmons planned to attack the officers, even though his friend had threatened to kill cops and others in the weeks and months before the attack.

Prosecutors had charged Allen as an accomplice with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder. The jury had to decide whether he was guilty of first-degree murder, whether he was guilty of aggravating circumstances and whether he or Clemmons was armed with a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The jury got the case May 12 after nearly a month of testimony. After more than four days of deliberations, the jury reached their decision this morning.

They found Allen guilty of first-degree murder. They found he or Clemmons was armed with a firearm at the time. The jury did not find Allen guilty of the aggravating factors, which would have netted Allen a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

As he was leaving court, Allen said in the direction of the media, “You got what you want. It won’t bring them back.”

Allen will be sentenced June 17.

Lindquist said his office will recommend that Allen be sentenced to four life sentences. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frederick Fleming has the discretion to sentence Allen up to life in prison. If Allen had been convicted of aggravated first-degree murder, a life sentence would have been the only option.

Seven people were arrested in the aftermath of the killings, but Allen was the only one charged with murder. Five people have been convicted of either helping Clemmons or possessing firearms. One was acquitted.

Clemmons, 37, was shot dead by a Seattle police officer Dec. 1 following an intense two-county manhunt.

Stay tuned for updates.

Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. Adam, was the verdict guilty on all counts?

  2. NoAgenda says:

    That’s what I heard on the news….convicted on all counts.

  3. Sentence this traitor to death…. not because of the color of his skin, but because of the content of his character as a great leader not of black men but of America once said. Even Gitmo would not be justice enough for some of us in my generation remember when another great leader said after 9/11: “Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocence, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril.” I feel the same way about each citizen of America in this outlaw war on our police that Dorkus Allen helped wage. Now in our police’s hour of greatest need, we the people need to protect and avenge them. Let’s get on with it.

  4. duckfan4ever says:

    The jury did an excellent job. I am grateful that they did not buy not the prosecutor’s theory as to aggravating circumstances. With four first degree murder convictions, unless reversed in appeal, and with the firearm enhancements, Mr. Allen will no doubt spend many years in prison, but at least will have a reasonable hope of being free again someday. That is as it should be, as the only person truly responsible for the deaths of the four Lakewood police officers was Mr. Clemmons.

  5. duckfan4ever says:

    I meant to say, “did not buy into…”

  6. lovethemountains says:

    Very good comments, JosefK.

  7. Reason_enemy_of_faith says:

    Does it really matter that aggravating factors were not found? How does a guy who is convicted of FOUR counts of MURDER, every going to walk the street again. Is parole even possible after having been convicted of 4 counts of first degree murder? This guy will never, ever see the light of day.

  8. johnnywombat says:

    I am glad he was found guilty on four counts of first degree murder, with or without the aggravating factors, I would still (hope to) assume he will spend the rest of his life in prison, where he belongs. We will see on June 17th…

    HOW COULD HE HAVE NOT KNOWN what was going on, especially when Mr. Clemmons came back with a bullet wound, tellin’ him to highhstep it on out of there, and the neighborhood starting to fill up with sirens and police car lights??? He went with it, and he didn’t contact authorities. He went with it, and now he’s gonna go down with it.

    Bye Dork

  9. chip98404 says:

    It does matter. The judge can sentence him to four life sentences, to run concurrently (at the same time). He would then be eligible for parole in a number of years. If the sentences are to run consecutively then he will never be eligible for parole. The judge has the option of sentencing anything from 40 years to 4 consecutive life sentences. My hope if for the latter.

  10. Mr Mazzone quit spewing your figurative speech. This was in no way a lynching, however I sure wish it was.

  11. Mudbone says:

    There is NO WAY this man could EVER get a fair trial! It was the corrupt police and so called judicial system whom he was up against after all! When the police kill citizens it is ok and they rarely if ever get in any trouble for it. The police have MUCH MORE karma coming their way!

  12. Thanks lovethemountains. I went thru a home invasion, had to wrestle one of the gunmen and what touched me the most was the parents wearing badges and in the fire trucks and ambulances who raced AWAY from their own kids INTO an area with “shots fired” to protect MY parents. If that is NOT heroic, then what is?!?

    Thanks and THANK YOU 1st Responders!

  13. PumainTacoma says:

    Good and KEEP SHERIFF FRENCH, Child Porn Creep, away from the children!!!

    If Chuschoff and Lindquist nullified his sentence (remember he did time on his yacht, lack of sentence), they will never be re-elected. Sheriff French is collecting pension after committing the gruesome crimes of child porn. Major sicko who should have been sentenced like any other criminal in JAIL and not on his yacht as given by our elected pierce county prosecutor.

  14. In the photo, Dorcus Allen looks like a normal young man.
    I wonder about his appearance on Nov 29, 2009.

    It is sad he ruined his life., however, being a getaway driver comes with a price.
    There are no winners in this whole disastrous series of events.

  15. Who were the Prosecutors on this case?

  16. Soundlife says:

    Looks like his momma knew what she was doing naming this loser Dork at birth…

  17. puyallupbaby says:

    i don’t think a “lynching” jury takes more than 4 days to deliberate over their verdict

  18. ha_tamale says:

    The “lynching” comment by his attorney was totally inappropriate. I hope he apologizes to the judge and jury for that.

  19. Mudbone says:

    Jurys don’t even know the laws which they are supposed to follow. You only can legally convict someone IF THEY ARE GUILTY BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT! It is highly unlikely that they legally were able to do that on four counts. THE FIX IS IN!

  20. Mudbone says:

    Remember David Brame, Allen Myron, WSP Trooper Moss and DOZENS of other criminals in blue!

  21. a) There are NONVIOLENT ways of holding those whom abuse the trust and frankly hero worship 1st Responders rightfully recieve. NONVIOLENT and oh, BTW, effective. Ever hear of Martin Luther King, Jr? Or the NAACP? Or once upon a time the ACLU? Or of police accountability boards and those things called elections & a free press?

    b) A lynching? No. Not after four days of deliberation, not after the facts are clear: Dorkus knew he was a terrorist who aided another terrorist.

    Finally, I want to say directly to the families of the fallen… I am sorry you have to hear such filth. If there was a way to protect you from it, I’d go after Mudbone.

  22. n0t_thatgirl says:

    Mudbone, the presence of people in uniform who abuse their positions does not in any way excuse the slaughter of four people who, by all accounts, were NOT “criminals in blue”. Something tells me you’d be singing a different tune if it was your brother, sister, friend, spouse, child, or parent who’d been killed while having their morning coffee. You’d want everyone who helped their murderer to pay what’s due.

  23. TheWhap says:

    “You got what you want. It won’t bring them back.”

    And neither will you be, Mr. Allen, and neither will you be!

  24. Soundlife says:

    Mudbone is so comically illiterate that it is amusing to read his posts.
    He must be married to his momma.
    And to have such a distrust of his betters…wonder what he did time for?

  25. DAKOTANATIVE says:

    What part of him admitting that he drove him to the scene if the murder and back near his house leaves any doubt?

  26. your name says:

    Hell Yeah Give him life in Prison , Hes a worthless SOB!!!!!

  27. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Mazzone said. “We’ll appeal as quickly as we can. This was a lynching, man.”

    No, this was not a lynching, this was a conviction.

    If we did lynchings, your client would not be in a position to appeal. As an alleged lawyer, you should know the difference.

  28. surveyor1 says:

    Maybe we can do a better job of keeping him in prison than Arkansas did. Allen murdered two people in a liquor store robbery in 1990 and was paroled in 2005. At the time of the Clemmons shooting, he was wanted for aggrevated robbery and DUI in Arkansas. The man belongs in prison for life.

  29. bgtown49 says:

    O.K. I have a couple of comments. When he walked out of the court room, looked to the press and said “You got what you want, it won’t bring them back” he didn’t know..right??
    Then, when his friend/employer got in the truck with a gun shot wound he didn’t know..right?
    At Thanksgiving when he talked about killing “cops, kids, whoever” he didn’t know…right??
    I KNOW there are “dirty” cops out there (FIFE) BUT for the most part I commend them for what they do. And to say “Karma” really!!!!! I’m liberal but I truly hope this “person” (and that’s said very sarcastically) will never be out of prison walls again in his life.

  30. Thanks srveyor1 – for remembering the facts of this case. As far as I’m concerned, this event was our own little “9/11″. Too bad we (Washingtonians) will be paying to warehouse this creep for the rest of his natural life – which is bound to be long in prison where he’ll be considered respectful for being a cop killer. Sad but true.

  31. And for those who didn’t realize it – Clemmons and Allen were “cellies” back in Ark.

  32. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Peter Mazzone, one of Allen’s defense attorneys, had a different reaction.
    “I think an innocent man was convicted,” Mazzone said. “We’ll appeal as quickly as we can. This was a lynching, man.”

    No, Peter, this was a trial and your client was found guilty.

    If this was a lynching, your client would have been found dead, like the four officers.

    Try to learn the difference and then apologize to the court, the jury and the families of the victims, the police and all the other law abiding citizens of this county. You @#!&^%*.

  33. Mudbone says:

    Soundlife is doomed! Catastrophe, calamity and disaster are coming it’s way!

  34. bgtown49 says:

    Mudborne… you really are ignorant!!!!!!!!!Oh wait…are you related????

  35. Midlander says:

    As distasteful and repellent as he is, mudbog does have the right to speak his mind in an open forum, thanks to the US Bill of Rights. And thanks especially to the brave men and women of our military and law enforcement who make daily sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, to insure our rights are upheld. mudblob is simply trying to stir people up; sadly, he likely has little else in his world to entertain himself. The fun part about people like muckpot is that sooner or later he’ll mouth off around the wrong people, and get his mudbone broken off. Cheers! And I agree, the defense attorney needs to apologize – AND retake the law school’s class on Courtroom Decorum. Shameful statements, just a poor loser.

  36. There is no way this man did not know what Clemmons did for god sake he got in the car shot. Did Clemmons just say nothing? Tell him nothing? Give me a break. He knew all along. I do worry that he will get parole and not spend his entire life in prison. We need to make dang sure he does.

    Oh, mudbone. You think this was unfair? You are crazy. Unfair is idiots harboring and protecting a murderer. Period. It is appalling to me that anyone thinks it is okay to shoot at cops or any first responders. My son is a firefighter and goes into some crazy areas with some sketchy people but he does it to save their lives. Trust me some of them, in my never humble opinion, do not deserve it but these guys do it anyway. It just makes me angry and I worry about my friends in blue and the firefighters. There are way more good then bad, way more.

  37. Reason_enemy_of_faith says:

    I am truly astounded that Pete Mazzone is so willing to denigrate and tarnish the work of MLK, JR. and the people who were truly lynched in the decades prior to the Civil Rights Movement. His comment is outrageous, inappropriate and insensitive. It reflects horribly on Pete Mazzone and really brings into question his fitness as an attorney, in my opinion. Way to play the race card Pete. You give defense attorneys a bad name. Pete Mazzone cannot personally vouch for Dorcus and has no superior insight into his possible innocence. In fact, Dorcus may have even confessed his guilt to Pete Mazzone (maybe that’s why Pete didn’t let Dorcus testify to the jury). All we know is that everyone else in Clemmon’s circle knew he was out to kill coos and we know that Dorcus is a career felon and had wildly changing stories and lied to the cops. Pete Mazzone needs to take some history classes and receive some sensitivity training. All we know is that Dorcus chose to NOT tell the jury under oath that he was innocent.

  38. thebestofthebest says:

    Cleaning up Pierce County one loser at a time !!!!

    Great job Pierce County’s Finest and the Pierce County Prosecutor.

    Yea, this guy should be walkin the streets!!!!!

    Allen already murdered two people in a liquor store robbery.

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