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September 24, 2012
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Families of fallen Lakewood cops to get $5 million each

Six days before the officers were fatally shot, killer posted bail and was released

By PoliceOne Staff

TACOMA, Wash. — The families of two Lakewood officers shot and killed in a coffee shop in November 2009 will receive $5 million each from the state Department of Corrections over allegations it mishandled the killer's case.

Relatives of Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officer Gregory Richards are to get the money following Friday's settlement, The Seattle Times reported

Maurice Clemmons fatally shot Renninger and Richards, and Officers Ronald Owens and Tina Griswold, in a Parkland coffee shop on Nov. 29, 2009. Clemmons was wounded by Richards, then killed two days later by a Seattle police officer.

The families say the Washington DOC should have been supervising Clemmons. He had recently moved to Washington from Arkansas, where he served time for assaulting police and child rape and was issued a pair of warrants to be held in jail pending trial.

But six days before the officers were killed, he posted bail in Washington and was released, The Seattle Times reported.

According to the allegations, Clemmons' community corrections officer saw the warrant and copied it "verbatim" into an internal computer, but did not alert the Pierce County Jail or prosecutors.

The DOC says it hopes the money will help the families, and in particular the children, overcome the loss.

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