Arkansas prosecutor says police murder suspect should still be in - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Arkansas prosecutor says police murder suspect should still be in jail

Maurice Clemmons Maurice Clemmons

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, AR (WMC-TV) - A massive manhunt continued Monday for an Arkansas native accused of killing four police officers in Washington.  Investigators say Maurice Clemmons murdered the officers Sunday morning in a Tacoma coffee shop.

Monday, a tip led authorities to a neighborhood in Washington where they believed Clemmons was hiding.  However, he was not inside that home, and officials believe he may be on his way to Little Rock.

Meanwhile, a St. Francis County rape victim and an Arkansas prosecutor say Maurice Clemmons' crimes could have been prevented.

Clemmons has a long criminal history, including a teenage crime spree that prosecutors in Little Rock say should have kept him behind bars for at least ten more years.

"Maurice Clemmons had no business being out walking the public streets," Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said. "He needed to be sitting in the Arkansas department of corrections until he was going to be parole eligible in the year 2021."

But in 2000, then-Governor Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence, telling the Arkansas parole board Clemmons was just a "misguided fool" when he committed the crimes.

Clemmons violated his parole, went back to prison, and was released in 2004. Just recently, he was charged in Washington with assaulting a police officer and raping a child. He posted bond and was back out on the streets again this time accused of shooting the four police offices in Seattle.

"It's all another Wayne Dumond instance if you ask me," Jegley said.

Wayne Dumond was convicted of raping Ashley Stevens in St. Francis County in 1984.  A friend texted Stevens about the Seattle shootings.

"I was really kind of sad to hear that people have been granted clemency that should not be let out of prison," Stevens said.

Sad, because the Arkansas Parole Board set Dumond free at Huckabee's urging.  While out, Dumond murdered a woman in Missouri.

"I just don't think he has made wise decisions," Stevens said.

Wayne Dumond died in prison.

Meanwhile, investigators in Washington believe family members are helping Clemmons elude capture.  One of Clemmons' relatives in Washington was taken into custody Monday, but Clemmons himself remains on the run.

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