Lakewood 4 getaway driver released, former prosecutor disturbed

Apr 12, 2023, 2:30 PM


Darcus Allen at the Pierce County Courthouse in Tacoma (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Darcus Allen, the man convicted of murder in the deaths of four Lakewood police officers in 2011, reached a plea deal on April 12 that led to his release.

As part of the deal, Allen pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree conspiracy to commit murder for his role as the getaway driver in the murders of four Lakewood police officers on Nov. 29, 2009. On that day, Marice Clemmons went into a coffee shop, pulled out a gun, and shot Sergeant Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens, and Greg Richards.

Retrial of accused Lakewood Four getaway driver set to begin

The maximum sentence on a murder conspiracy charge is 10 years in prison alongside a $20,000 fine. Since Allen has already been behind bars for nearly 14 years, the judge agreed to release him immediately.

Former Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist was disturbed to learn of the plea deal releasing Allen from prison.

“This is a hugely important case to the community,” said Lindquist. “I would have expected the Prosecutor’s Office to play it out [and] let the jury decide.”

The deal was arranged as Allen was preparing to be tried for his role in the crime for a fourth time. Two previous retrials ended in deadlocked juries.

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“I do know one of the hung juries to convict was 10-2, and under those circumstances, you do give the jury another opportunity to convict,” said Lindquist.

The Lakewood Police Department released a statement, according to KIRO 7, that read:

The Lakewood Police Department is grateful that Darcus Allen is finally pleading guilty for the murders of Sgt. Mark Renninger, Ofc. Tina Griswold, Ofc. Ronnie Owens, and Ofc. Greg Richards. It has been a long, hard, and difficult path, but one where we persevered in order to hold those accountable for the heinous and brutal murders of our Police Officers. This crime deeply impacted the families, our Department, as well as our entire community. This only further underscores the importance of this verdict.

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Lakewood 4 getaway driver released, former prosecutor disturbed