Seattle inquest jury deciding if cop-killer death was justified

Seattle inquest jury deciding if cop-killer death was justified

Maurice Clemmons

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by Associated Press and KING5.com

NWCN.com

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 7 at 8:15 AM

SEATTLE -  An inquest jury in Seattle is deciding whether a Seattle police officer feared for his life when he shot cop-killer Maurice Clemmons.

The case went to the jury Tuesday after it heard how Officer Benjamin Kelly confronted Clemmons Dec. 1, two days after Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood officers.

During the inquest, Kelly told the jury that within seconds of stopping, he noticed a man in his rearview mirror, hooded and shuffling up to his patrol car.

"I turned to address him and that is basically when he looked up and I saw his face I immediately recognized him as Maurice Clemmons," said Kelly.

It's unclear why Washington's most wanted man approached a clearly marked police car.

"He gave me an 'Oh, crap' look of whatever he was thinking, it wasn't working out the way he had planned it and he immediately moved his hands towards the front of his body along his waistband area and then turned his upper body away from me," said Kelly.

When asked what he thought Clemmons was doing, Kelly responded "I believed he was going for a gun."

Kelly went on to say he fired an initial volley of three rounds followed a short time later by another volley of four rounds.

Clemmons died at the scene a short time later.

The jury was told that Clemmons was shot four times, and that two of the wounds were fatal.

An inquest is not a criminal trial. The job of the six-member King County jury is to answer questions about the shooting that will be considered by the prosecutor.
 

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