TACOMA, Wash. – Maurice Clemmons died before he could have his day in court for the murders of four Lakewood, Wash. police officers in a coffee shop. On Monday, his sister went on trial, accused of helping Clemmons' getaway driver escape.
Latanya Clemmons – Maurice's sister – is one of seven charged in connection with the Nov. 29, 2009 killings that killed Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ron Owens and Greg Richards.
Witnesses to the shooting took the stand Monday.
"He caught my attention a little bit because when I said 'Hey, how's it going?' He didn't say anything back," said former Forza coffee shop barista Sara Kispert. She says as soon as she became suspicious of Maurice Clemmons, he pulled out a gun.
"That's when I heard the first gunshot," Kispert tearfully testified.
As the officers were being killed, Sara and co-worker Michelle Chaboya ran for help.
"I was hoping that nothing as terrible as I had feeling happened. I was hoping that they would something, someone, would be able to fight him off," said Chaboya.
"It was so shocking," said Dan Jordan. He was drinking coffee at Forza before running outside to call 911.
Prosecutors say Latanya Clemmons did not help plan or carry out the murders. She's on trial for helping getaway driver, Darcus Dewayne Allen, hide from police. Prosecutors say she paid for Allen's hiding place in a hotel and bought him a bus ticket to Arkansas after the shooting.
Two of the slain officers' relatives spoke of their concerns while Maurice Clemmons and his potential accomplices were on the run. One feared that Clemmons or his associates would be able to find her family.
Latanya Clemmons' attorney says she did it, but unknowingly. She says when she was helping Allen hide, she didn't know he was wanted by police.
If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
Allen is charged with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Maurice Clemmons was killed Dec. 1 by a Seattle police officer