“I’ll kill all you bitches,” is a clear threat. This is what Maurice Clemmons told the workers at the Pierce County, WA jail who booked him. The psychologists who evaluated him for the court wrote:
He presents with increased risk for future dangerous behavior and for committing future criminal acts jeopardizing public safety and security.
Under the Washington State constitution, bail is not supposed to be granted when a defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Prosecutors filed papers calling Clemmons a “persistent offender” which means he would have gotten life in prison when convicted of raping his 12-year old daughter under Washington’s three strike law.
So, why the hell did Pierce County Judges John McCarthy and Thomas Felnagle set and grant bail?
Apparently, raping your daughter isn’t taken seriously in Pierce County. Grant Blinn from the prosecutor’s office told the Tacoma News Tribune:
A typical child rape-2 defendant is summonsed into court, not even arrested. A lot of them are released on their personal recognizance.
In other words, a guy can rape his kid and go back home to do it again. Who protects that defenseless child?
Ed Troyer, the Pierce County sheriff’s spokesperson who failed to protect Crystal Judson Brame from her police chief estranged husband, is on KIRO news telling the public that cops aren’t going to trust us going forward.
While I fully support the police manhunt that was invested in tracking down Maurice Clemmons, I remain outraged that Pierce County released this guy. His daughter deserved the same protection as the cops who were murdered.
Officials in Pierce County are pointing plenty of fingers at officals in Arkansas for letting Clemmons out of prison, but they arrogantly refuse to accept responsibility for their role.
Deputy Prosecutor Angelica McGaha requested $200,000 bail from a guy who owned five houses. Her boss Prosecutor Mark Lindquist believes this was “appropriate.” This is the same guy who intended to prosecute Clemmons as a three-strike felon. This is the same guy who presented the psychologists report to the court stating Clemmons was dangerous.
Yes, there are goats in Arkansas. They include former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his four-member clemency board who unanimously recommended clemency. Sixth Circuit Judge Marion G. Humphrey “strongly supported parole.”
“He was a mean SOB”
Larry Jegley, the prosecutor in Pulaski County, Arkansas, blew the whistle on Huckabee. He looked at Clemmons eight felonies and called it:
He was a mean SOB.
Western State Hospital psychologists Melissa Dannelet and Carl Redick similarly warned the court not to let Clemmons out of jail.
Benjamin L. Kelly, an alert Seattle cop, spotted a stolen car in the wee hours of this morning. The motor was running, but nobody was in the car. He recognized Clemmons approaching his car. Clemmons refused to surrender so Kelly killed him. Clemmons was carrying the gun of one of the slain Lakewood police officers.
These folks took their duty to serve and protect us seriously. I applaud them. If the judges who kept giving Clemmons a pass had taken their concerns seriously, four dedicated police officers would still be alive. A little girl would not have been raped.
I also want to applaud the Tacoma News Tribune for finally taking their First Amendment obligations seriously. They did the investigative journalism which is the basis for this post. As always, a shout out to KIRO news for remaining steadfastly vigilant on the issue of domestic violence and abuse of power. I am hoping they’ll keep digging until they ferret out the callous indifference to domestic violence that is pervasive in the Pierce County criminal justice system. And, I hope they’ll take a second look at that 48 Hours documentary about Crystal Judson Brame’s murder. Somebody needs to hold Ed Troyer accountable for not protecting Crystal.
Update: WA State Rep. Christopher Hurst said on KIRO news on December 3 that he will be reviewing WA’s bail procedures and other systemic failures in this case.