Jury deliberations underway for alleged getaway driver in 2009 murder of four Lakewood officers

Nov 1, 2022, 6:27 AM | Updated: 6:58 am
Photo from KIRO 7...
Photo from KIRO 7

Lawyers make their case to a Pierce County jury, now deciding the fate of the alleged getaway driver after the murders of four Lakewood police officers more than a decade ago.

Darcus Allen is accused of being an accomplice in the execution-style murders. The officers were gunned down three days after Thanksgiving in 2009.

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Their killer, Maurice Clemmons, was shot and killed by Seattle police two days later.

Those closing arguments began at about 10 a.m. Monday here at the Pierce County Superior Court. They wrapped up at about 3:30 p.m.

Each lawyer worked to convince the jury to side with them.

“Everyone associated with Maurice Clemmons was afraid,” said Mary Kay High, defense attorney.

In their closing arguments, the defense and the prosecution took the Pierce County jury back to that horrific Thanksgiving weekend nearly 13 years ago when four Lakewood police officers were shot and killed, execution style, by felon Maurice Clemmons.

In an instant, everyone he knew and went to for help was caught up in the intense search to catch him.

“When Maurice Clemmons came to their house on Nov. 29, what did he say?” asked High. “He said that he had killed police. What happens when Darcus gets there? Darcus says, ‘I didn’t know the man was going to do that.’”

Darcus Allen lived with Clemmons’ sister and drove him to the Forza Coffee shop where the officers were preparing for the day.

He drove to a car wash while Clemmons shot and killed officers Greg Richards, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Sergeant Mark Renninger.

Allen’s attorney argued he did not know what Clemmons planned.

But Pierce County prosecuting attorney Sunni Ko argued that Allen knew, and that Clemmons had told his sister, Allen’s live-in girlfriend, that he wanted to kill police officers.

And, she said, by driving Clemmons to the Forza coffee shop, Allen is complicit, too.

“The defendant dropped off Maurice Clemmons,” said Ko. “If that first bullet to Tina Griswold’s head was fired before he had time to walk down to the Forza, then the defendant is guilty as charged.”

This is the second trial for Allen. His first conviction was thrown out.

The jury left Monday without reaching a verdict. They resume deliberations Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO 7

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Jury deliberations underway for alleged getaway driver in 2009 murder of four Lakewood officers