Lights & Sirens

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Category: Lakewood shooting


Lakewood officers present flag at Mariners’ home opener

In these photos by staff photographer Peter Haley, Lakewood police officers carry a flag Monday during opening ceremonies of the Mariners’ home opener at Safeco Field in Seattle. This is the third year Lakewood officers and staff have unfurled the flag, following the fatal shooting of four Lakewood officers in 2009, Lt. Chris Lawler said. Officers practiced the routine for several hours at Safeco on Sunday.


Cop-killer Maurice Clemmons’ sister released from prison

The sister of cop-killer Maurice Clemmons was released from prison early this morning.

LaTanya Clemmons, 37, served two years of the five-year prison sentence she was handed for helping her brother’s getaway driver after four Lakewood police officers were gunned down at a coffee shop in November 2009.

She was released from the state women’s prison in Purdy.

LaTanya Clemmons qualified for early release because she was a first-time nonviolent offender, and because she behaved while locked up. She was also given credit for 301 days she spent in the Pierce County Jail while waiting for her trial and sentencing.

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Maurice Clemmons’ sister to be released from prison after serving 2 years of a 5-year sentence

Cop-killer Maurice Clemmons’ sister will get out of prison in July after serving two years of the five-year prison sentence she received for helping her brother’s getaway driver following the massacre of four Lakewood police officers in November 2009.

The Lakewood Police Department issued a statement today saying it is “disappointed that LaTanya Clemmons is not being required to serve out the full term of her five-year sentence for her involvement in the case involving the murder of our four officers.”

Selena Davis, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections, said Clemmons, as a nonviolent offender, qualified for a

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

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

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Alleged getaway driver won’t testify in last trial tied to massacre of Lakewood officers

Attorneys representing Maurice Clemmons’ alleged getaway driver rested their case today without calling their client to the stand.

Closing arguments could come Tuesday or Wednesday in the trial of Dorcus Allen. Allen, 39, is charged as an accomplice with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the Nov. 29, 2009, deaths of Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronald Owens.

The four were gathered at a Parkland coffee shop when Clemmons walked in and gunned them down. Prosecutors contend Allen drove Clemmons to and from the vicinity of the shop knowing what his friend

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Judge says no to more pay for jurors hearing case tied to Lakewood police shootings

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frederick Fleming this morning denied a request to increase the amount of compensation paid jurors who hear the case against cop killer Maurice Clemmons’ alleged getaway driver.

Fleming agreed with attorneys for Dorcus Allen that the current $10-per-day rate is too low but said it is up to the state Legislature to change the law.

“It’s not the court’s call,” the judge said.

Mary K. High and Peter Mazzone wanted taxpayers to pay jurors with jobs their existing wages if their employer wouldn’t pay them while they’re on jury duty. High and Mazzone argued those not employed should get the state’s minimum wage of $8.27 per hour while they sit in a trial that is expected to last six weeks or more.

Not fairly compensating jurors for their time, especially during a long trial, causes many working people to miss jury duty due to financial hardship, High argued this morning.

That erodes a defendant’s constitutional right to be tried by a fair cross section of the community, she said.

“There often is a real hardship for working folks,” High said.

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Officer named in shooting incident in Lakewood

Lakewood police have released the name of the officer that was involved in the Feb. 8 shooting incident on 27 Rips Lane in Lakewood.

He is Brian Markert, a 14-year veteran who came to the department in 2004.

Markert is still on paid administrative leave per department policy while the investigation into the death of 35-year-old Daniell Johnson in a domestic violence incident is concluded. The entire investigation, to include Markert’s statement about the shooting, will be presented to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney for review.


Slain officer Griswold’s family sets up foundation in her honor

The family of slain Lakewood police officer Tina Griswold has started a foundation to help the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

The Tina Delong Griswold Foundation eventually will help cover expenses for relatives of slain officers who must travel to attend court proceedings for the people charged with killing their loved ones, said Griswold’s sister, Tammy Gipe.

The foundation also will offer a scholarship program.

“The mission of the foundation is to offer emotional support and financial support,” said Gipe, whose sister was one of four Lakewood officers gunned down Nov. 29, 2009, at

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