Huckabee Freed Man Sought in Wash. Cop Massacre

Then-gov commuted repeat felon's sentence
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2009 11:14 PM CST
In this photo provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department shows Maurice Clemmons, person of interest in the killing of four Lakewood Police officers in Parkland, Wash., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pierce County Sheriff's Department)
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(Newser) – A man being sought as a "person of interest" in the execution-style slayings of four police officers this morning in Lakewood, Wash., was 11 years into a decades-long prison term in Arkansas when then-governor Mike Huckabee approved the commutation of his sentence. Prosecutors objected to clemency for Maurice Clemmons, now 37; the parole board approved his release, Huckabee said. "This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," a Pulaski County, Ark., prosecutor told the Seattle Times.

Clemmons is not formally a suspect in the killings of the police officers—three men and a woman with a total of 47 years' law-enforcement experience and nine children among them—but was seen in the area at the time of the shootings. He has been convicted of multiple felonies in Arkansas and Washington and is currently out on bail. "We have no motive at all," a spokesman for the Pierce County sheriff's office told the AP. "I don't think when we find out what it is, it will be anything that makes any sense."

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