Four charged with aiding Wash. cop killer
By Donna Gordon Blankinship
SEATTLE — Authorities have charged four people with aiding the man accused of killing four Washington state police officers and plan on indicting two more in what investigators call a network of friends and relatives that helped Maurice Clemmons avoid capture.
Rickey Hinton, 47, pleaded not guilty Thursday at his arraignment to three counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frederick Flemming ordered him held on $2 million bail.
Court documents accuse Hinton, Clemmons' half brother, of lying to police Sunday when they stopped him for questioning near the property owned by Clemmons where Hinton lived. Police say Hinton claimed he hadn't heard from Clemmons and didn't know where he was. He also denied any knowledge of the shooting, which happened in suburban Tacoma, court records said.
Clemmons was shot to death early Tuesday by a Seattle police officer after a two-day manhunt.
Darcus Allen, 38, pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail Wednesday after being charged with being a fugitive. Allen is accused of helping Clemmons flee the Parkland coffee house Sunday morning after he shot to death four Lakewood police officers.
Prosecutors warned they might charge Allen, who did time with Clemmons in an Arkansas prison, with the more serious offense of being an accomplice to aggravated first-degree murder. Such a charge could make him liable to the same penalties as the shooter - life without release, or execution.
Two more suspects are scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon: Clemmons' friend Quiana Maylea Williams, and his aunt Letricia Nelson.
Police allege they gave first-aid to Clemmons, helped him change clothes and made arrangements to get him to other locations.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday he's willing to look at any recommended changes in how his state sends parolees to Washington state after Clemmons, an Arkansas parolee, shot the Lakewood officers.
Beebe told reporters he spoke for about half an hour with Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and that he's confident Arkansas correction officials properly handled Clemmons' case after he was paroled.
At issue is a warrant that Arkansas officials issued for Clemmons. Arkansas corrections officials say the warrant should have been enough to keep Clemmons in jail on a charge in Pierce County, Wash. But Washington officials say it wasn't handled properly in Arkansas.
Gov. Gregoire called her discussion with Beebe productive.
"We both agreed that there is work to do together to protect the residents of Washington, Arkansas and the rest of the nation," she said.
Gregoire said she wants to explore ways to improve the 50-state pact that governs adult offender supervision across state lines.
"But right now my focus is on providing all of the support we can to the families and colleagues of the four fallen police officers," she said.
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