Two guilty, two not guilty of assisting police killer Clemmons


by KING 5 News

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 7 at 9:36 AM

TACOMA -- A Pierce County jury split a decision Monday in the trial of three men and one woman accused of lending aid to the man who murdered four Lakewood Police officers last November. One of the four is now a free man.

Rickey Hinton, Letrecia Nelson, Eddie Davis and Douglas Davis were accused of helping Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons murdered Lakewood Police Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens at a Parkland coffee shop Nov. 29, 2009. Clemmons was shot and killed two days later following a statewide police manhunt.

Hinton, Clemmons' half-brother, was found not guilty on two counts of rendering criminal assistance.

Nelson, Clemmons' aunt, was found guilty on both counts against her. She was charged with rendering criminal assistance and possession of a stolen firearm.

Eddie Davis, Clemmons' cousin, was found guilty on all three counts against him including rendering criminal assistance and firearms charges.

Douglas Davis was found not guilty of rendering criminal assistance, but guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and guilty of possession of a stolen firearm.

According to investigators, Douglas Davis helped Clemmons clean and treat the gunshot wound he suffered in a struggle with one of the officers. Douglas and his brother, Eddie Davis, apparently drove Clemmons around after the shooting while he was on the run. Police say Clemmons told them he had "taken care of business" and they knew that meant he had killed police officers.

Attorney for Douglas Davis, Kent Underwood, argued last week in court that any help his client provided, he did because he feared for his own life.

"What do you do when a man who has just killed four police officers is going crazy, who has a gun, who's been shot?" said Underwood. "He says, 'Lets go.' What do you do? You go."

Leaving the Pierce County Jail Monday night, Hinton apologized to the families of the fallen officers.

"I'm sincerely sorry for your families and your losses and if I could replace them, I would do whatever I could with the remorse that I feel in my heart for your families' losses," said Hinton.

The jury believed Hinton acted out of fear and did not attempt to help Clemmons hide.

"I'm thankful. I'm grateful and I'm praising God for my release and I think I deserve it because I didn't know of this. I didn't want nothing to do with this. It was a bad situation," said Hinton.

Hinton says he's a changed man.

"I just feel vindicated," said Hinton. "I'm someone's father and to see their children go through this for one sick man's actions, be it my brother or not, it was wrong. It was harmful It was hurtful."

Prosecutors say they're disappointed in the jury's findings on Hinton.

There is still one more case try. Darcus Allen, Clemmons' accused getaway driver, goes on trial next month. He's charged with four counts of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Two other suspects, included Clemmons' sister Latanya Clemmons, have already been convicted of helping Clemmons after the murders. They were each sentenced to five years in prison.

(KING 5's Chris Daniels and Drew Mikkelsen contributed to this report)