Ark. ex-con of interest in slayings | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ark. ex-con of interest in slayings

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

The tip I gave you earlier is panning out.

Washington autthorities are seeking Maurice Clemmons, 37, (pictured) for questioning in the slaying of four Washington police officers. Clemmons is wanted in Arkansas, where he has an extensive criminal record, according to unnamed sources in early reports. Clemmons also is mentioned in this report.

My source says the man wanted for questioning is believed to be the same Maurice Clemmons as an Arkansas ex-con with an extensive record of armed robbery who became a subject of some controversy for political reasons. That Maurice Clemmons was among those who became controversial for having received a commuted sentence from then-Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000 (of a 35-year armed robbery sentence), then went on to commit other crimes. This has the potential of making Wayne Dumond look like a small-timer.

The Seattle Times has more on Clemmons' past in Arkansas, including the commutation by Huckabee in 2000.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

"This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.

No news accounts so far have revealed, besides Clemmons' relatively young age on his convication, what motivated Huckabee to commute his sentence in 2000. There were highly publicized cases in which intercession by ministers, inmates' professed conversions or inmates' places on Governor's Mansion work details that seem to have been factors in Huckabee decisions.

Relatives in LR are declining to comment about Clemmons. Neighbors in Seattle are saying Clemmons was a nice guy known for his holiday light displays, but apparently had shown signs of mental disturbance recently.

Here's what Garrick Feldman wrote years ago in the Arkansas Leader of Huckabee clemencies, including action on Maurice Clemmons. Here's one court case I've dug up in which there was testimony about Clemmons' actions seemingly directed at doing harm to the trial judge in one of his criminal cases.


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