Widow of Clemmons' victim going after Huckabee | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 12, 2015

Widow of Clemmons' victim going after Huckabee

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 11:23 AM

click to enlarge Sgt. Mark Renninger, shot to death by Maurice Clemmons.
  • Sgt. Mark Renninger, shot to death by Maurice Clemmons.
As former Gov. Mike Huckabee hits the campaign trail for his second run for the Republican presidential nomination, the widow of one of the four policemen murdered by Maurice Clemmons in 2009 after he was granted clemency by Huckabee in 2000 is speaking out to remind people of the disastrous consequences of that decision. 

Kim Renninger, the widow of Sgt. Mark Renninger of Lakewood, Wash., told the Seattle Times "the person who got this ball rolling was Huckabee. ... I don’t have any other way to hold him accountable or make change. I can’t sue him. This is the way to do it.”

Since Clemmons shot her husband and three other policemen at a coffee shop in Parkland, a suburb of Tacoma, Renninger has worked to change laws on interstate parole and kept up with the prosecution of the case. According to the Seattle Times, Renninger sought out GOP political consultant (and former presidential candidate) Fred Karger, a critic of Huckabee, and together they have formed a political action committee called Truth Squad 2016. Renninger may go to the Iowa presidential caucuses or appear in TV ads talking about Huckabee's role in her husband's murder.

Clemmons served time in Arkansas on eight felony charges, including breaking in to a state trooper's home and stealing a gun and other property. After the 2009 killing, Huckabee defended his commutation of Clemmons' sentence because he believed the sentence — 108 years — was unfair and racially biased. Clemmons only served 10 years in prison. A juvenile, Clemmons had been charged as an adult because of a pattern of violence. 

During his first run for the presidential nomination in 2007, Huckabee had been called on to defend his role in the release from prison of Wayne DuMond, the rapist who once released raped and killed a woman in Missouri.

Huckabee spokesman Alice Stewart said in response to the formation of Truth Squad that the widows were being "exploited" by Karger and that the former governor was not "soft on crime."

Clemmons was shot to death by a Seattle police officer who identified him during a traffic stop and who believed Clemmons was about to pull a gun on him. DuMond died in prison.

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