Lakewood cop killer's sister sentenced to prison



Posted on June 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 17 at 6:14 PM

A Pierce County judge has sentenced Latanya Clemmons to five years in prison for helping the alleged getaway driver after her brother, Maurice, murdered four Lakewood, Wash. police officers last November.

Judge Stephanie Arend sentenced Latanya Clemmons to the prison term on two counts of rendering criminal assistance for helping  Darcus Allen elude police.

On June 10 a jury found LatanyaClemmons guilty of the two counts but found her not guilty on two others.

Maurice shot and killed Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ron Owens and Greg Richards in a coffee shop on Nov. 29, 2009. He was killed two days later by a Seattle police officer.

Prosecutors say that while Latanya did not help plan or carry out the murders, she paid for Allen's hiding place in a hotel and bought him a bus ticket to Arkansas after the shooting.

Latanya's attorney argued that when she was helping Allen, she didn't know he was wanted by police.

At the sentencing, Tom DeLong, the brother of slain officer Tina Griswold, read a strongly worded statement to Latanya.

"On November 29th, I was told that my beloved sister was murdered and that a low-life, good for nothing, drug-dealing, rapist, cop killer walked up and shot her in the back of the head and then proceeded to kill three more officers," said DeLong. "Then we found out that while on the run others in the community were helping this criminal and his equally cowardly sidekick getaway driver."

In a halting voice, DeLong said knowing that people were helping the criminals was "particularly devastating" to the family.

"Now your part in this crime was particularly dispicable," he told Latanya. "Your actions could have led to even more loss of life."

Six other people, including Allen, are charged in connection with the murders. Allen faces four counts of aggravated first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

"I personally want you to know that on December 1st at 3:00 a.m. when I got a call that that drug-dealing, rapist, cop killer was shot dead in the street we tasted justice. And ma'am it tasted good. We expect to get another helping of justice today  and we expect to get six more helpings of that tidbit over the next several months or years, it don't matter," DeLong said to latanya Clemmons.

Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin McCann had asked for a 10-year sentence for LaTanya Clemmons.  Judge Arend ruled that five years is the maximum she could give under sentencing guidelines and jury findings.

After the sentencing, Kim Renniger, wife of Mark Renniger, spoke briefly to reporters.

"I'm very happy with what happened, I have no complaints, " she said. "And, I'm ready for the next one."