Pierce County News Release
TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frederick Fleming sentenced Dorcus Allen, 40, to 420 years in prison for his involvement in the shooting deaths of four Lakewood Police officers on November 29, 2009. This sentencing brings to a close the prosecution of seven defendants who aided Clemmons before and after he murdered Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Gregory Richards.
A jury convicted Allen of four counts of Murder in the First Degree on May 19, after a lengthy and sometimes emotional trial. The jury’s verdict found that the victims were police officers, an aggravating factor, which allowed prosecutors to ask for a sentence beyond the standard range. By law, the sentences for each count must run consecutively. The firearm enhancement added 20 years to Allen’s sentence, five years for each count.
Clemmons ambushed the officers at a Forza Coffee shop in Parkland. 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.
As the getaway driver, 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. “Deputy Prosecutors Phil Sorensen, Stephen Penner, and Kevin McCann did extraordinary work on the Clemmons cases. They represented this office and the community well. I’m proud of my staff for our commitment to do everything possible to hold accountable those responsible for assisting Maurice Clemmons, I’m proud of the hard work and follow-through, and I’m pleased with the results. I hope the justice we’ve achieved brings some closure to the families of the officers and our community.”
Earlier this year, Letrecia Nelson, Quiana Williams, Douglas Davis, Eddie Davis and LaTanya Clemmons, friends and family of Maurice Clemmons, were convicted and received sentences ranging from five to ten years in prison. They were charged for aiding Clemmons 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.