SEATTLE - New documents obtained by the KING 5 Investigators paint a clearer picture of Maurice Clemmons - who he was, how he ended up in Washington state, and what he was capable of doing. The records also reveal just how Clemmons may have been able to raise the money to post bail, and walk the streets, over and over in Washington state.
Ricky Hinton is accused of helping his half-brother stay a step ahead of police in the days after the quadruple murder. But within 400-plus pages of state records just obtained by KING 5, it's clear Hinton helped Clemmons long before this tragedy.
When Clemmons was about to get out of prison in Arkansas five years ago, he applied to move here on parole. Now we learn, that first request was denied by Washington's department of corrections, with an "x" through the "we do not agree to supervise" box.
But Clemmons was persistent. He re-applied, saying he had a brother, Ricky Hinton, who would be his "host" and help him establish roots. Based on that, the DOC agreed to the deal, a common arrangement when relatives are identified.
The documents also show Clemmons was bounced from prison in Arkansas before his move to Washington because of "prison overcrowding." Based on that, he was "approved for early release" and shipped off to Washington six years early, despite behavior in prison including assault, sex crimes, theft, drug possession and even possession of a firearm.
Once in Washington, Clemmons flew under the radar, reporting he worked all sorts of jobs: Landscaping. Removing seats from buses. Recycling metals. Real estate.
But the new records reveal he may have been making money a different way. In 2005 the feds were investigating him for drug trafficking through the U.S. Mail. And police sources tell KING 5 that Clemmons was a person of interest in drug dealing in the infamous "Jungle" area above Interstate 5 in Seattle.
Many people have wondered how was Clemmons, a handy man and wannabe plumber, finding the money to bail out of the pierce county jail not once, but three times in the last six months. The new information on suspicion of drug dealing, may provide the answer.
Gov. Chris Gregoire this week expressed outrage that Arkansas hasn't accepted responsibility for dumping their problem on Washington state. Part of the governor's outrage stems from Arkansas' refusal to take Clemmons back once he started getting into trouble in our state in May. For now, she's not allowing any additional parolees from Arkansas to transfer here.