Today a Pierce County jury convicted Dorcus Allen, 40, of four counts of Murder in the First Degree for his involvement in the shooting deaths of four Lakewood Police officers on November 29, 2009. The jury deliberated for four and one-half days.
Allen was the getaway driver for Maurice Clemmons, who entered a Forza Coffee shop in Parkland with two guns and murdered Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Gregory Richards. The officers, who were in full uniform, had gathered at the coffee shop to have breakfast while they wrote reports. Sgt. Renninger and Officer Griswold were both shot in the head with no warning. Officer Owens was shot in the ensuing fight. Officer Richards engaged Clemmons and shot him in the torso, but Clemmons wrestled away the officer’s service weapon and then shot and killed Richards.
Allen drove Clemmons to the area and waited while Clemmons went inside the coffee shop and murdered the officers. After killing the officers, Clemmons joined Allen at a nearby carwash and fled the scene in a vehicle driven by Allen. A two-day manhunt ensued, ending with a Seattle Police officer shooting and killing Clemmons after Clemmons approached him on a dark city street. Officer Richards’ stolen gun was found on Clemmons.
“This has been a long march to justice,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said, “and justice has been done. Our goal in the Prosecutor’s Office has always been to hold accountable all the defendants responsible for assisting Maurice Clemmons. I’m proud of our staff for their persistent and successful efforts to seek justice. I also want to commend law enforcement for their tireless work in this multi-agency investigation. I hope the families of the fallen officers can rest a bit easier now.”
A total of seven defendants, friends and family members of Clemmons, were charged for aiding him and for unlawful possession of firearms. Three days before the murders, Clemmons told many of them that he planned to kill police officers. After killing the officers, he turned to them for help in evading capture. Letrecia Nelson, Quiana Williams, Douglas Davis, Eddie Davis and LaTanya Clemmons were all convicted and received sentences ranging from five to ten years in prison.
Deputy Prosecutors Phil Sorensen and Stephen Penner prosecuted Allen and will recommend four consecutive life sentences. The jury found that Allen was not a major participant in the actual shooting, so he is not facing a mandatory life sentence, but the jury did find that the victims were law enforcement officers. This aggravating circumstance allows the judge to sentence Allen to life in prison. Allen’s sentencing is set for June 17 at 1:30 p.m. in room 533 in the County-City Building.