LaTanya Clemmons, the sister of Maurice Clemmons, was charged Wednesday with helping to hide the man who allegedly drove Clemmons to the area where he killed four Lakewood police officers Nov. 29.
TACOMA — The sister of Maurice Clemmons was charged Wednesday with helping to hide the man who allegedly drove Clemmons to the area where he killed four Lakewood police officers Nov. 29.
At a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, LaTanya Clemmons pleaded not guilty to four counts of rendering criminal assistance in the first degree. She was ordered held on $1.5 million bail.
LaTanya Clemmons, 34, who works at Swedish Medical Center and the Muckleshoot Casino, is one of five relatives and a friend of Maurice Clemmons’ who have been charged with rendering criminal assistance in the aftermath of the slayings.
The seventh person in custody, Darcus D. Allen, lived with LaTanya Clemmons, according to court documents that don’t describe the nature of the relationship.
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Referring to the group as the “Clemmons Seven,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told reporters he did not expect any more arrests beyond the seven people accused of impeding investigators.
In charging documents, prosecutors allege LaTanya Clemmons paid for a Federal Way motel room for Allen and gave him bus money to leave the state after she learned he had information about the killing of the officers in a Parkland coffee shop.
Detectives are investigating Allen’s role in driving Maurice Clemmons to and from a carwash near the coffee shop at the time of the shootings. In an exchange of gunfire, one officer wounded Clemmons.
Maurice Clemmons, 37, eluded police for nearly two days until he was shot and killed Dec. 1 by a Seattle police officer.
In asking for the high bail for LaTanya Clemmons, Lindquist said she poses a flight risk because, if convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison. The others charged with helping Maurice Clemmons could be sentenced to between 15 and 40 years in prison.
Allen, 38, was booked into the Pierce County Jail Dec. 1 on suspicion of rendering criminal assistance and as a fugitive from Arkansas, where he has been linked to a March 22 bank robbery in Little Rock. He previously served 14 years for a 1990 double murder in Arkansas, where he did prison time with Maurice Clemmons.
Police say he could face murder charges in the officers’ slayings depending on his level of involvement. Allen has told investigators he wasn’t aware of what happened after Maurice Clemmons briefly left the carwash.
According to the charging documents, LaTanya Clemmons and Allen went to a house in Algona the day the officers were shot. Earlier that day, Maurice Clemmons had received first aid for the bullet wound at the house before leaving with two other relatives, the documents say.
LaTanya Clemmons and Allen watched news coverage about the slain officers and Allen told those gathered at the home, “we was just there,” referring to the murder site, the documents say.
Allen went on to describe how he drove Maurice Clemmons to and from the carwash, prosecutors allege.
While at the Algona home, LaTanya Clemmons said she was going to take Allen to a motel so he could go back to Arkansas and “lay low” until this all “blew over,” prosecutors allege. She drove him to a Federal Way motel and paid for a room, then returned to the Algona residence, the documents say.
The next day, she drove to the motel to pay for another night’s stay and to give Allen $300 cash for a bus ticket to Arkansas, prosecutors allege.
LaTanya Clemmons was present when Allen was arrested with $297 on him at the motel in the early morning hours of Dec. 1, and when questioned by a detective, she “omitted material information” about the killings of the four officers, the documents say.
LaTanya Clemmons has denied she heard Allen discuss his role while they were at the Algona house, saying she was outside smoking, according to the documents. She said he didn’t tell her of his involvement until the next day.
But she also told detectives that on the day the officers were slain, Allen woke her up at their home and that they watched news about the shootings, the documents say. She said she then drove to look at the pickup shown on the news as the getaway vehicle and realized it belonged to her brother.
Seattle Times researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or email@example.com