Appeals court tosses conviction in Lakewood slayings

TACOMA — The state Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a man accused of assisting cop-killer Maurice Clemmons, while upholding the conviction of two other accomplices.

In a 3-0 decision Friday, the appellate panel overturned Douglas Davis’ convictions of weapons crimes and ruled he could not be recharged, The News Tribune reported Saturday.

But the court upheld convictions against Eddie Davis and Letrecia Nelson for helping Clemmons and possessing the gun he had taken from one of the officers. The panel, however, found some factors prosecutors filed against the two shouldn’t have been applied and sent the cases back for re-sentencing, the newspaper reported.

Clemmons gunned down four Lakewood officers at a Tacoma-area coffee shop in 2009. He was killed two days later in a confrontation with a Seattle police officer.

Pierce County prosecutors filed charges against seven people in the aftermath of the killings. They won convictions against six of them either through jury trials or pleas.

But Douglas Davis was the second to have his or her conviction overturned. Last year, an appeals panel threw out the conviction of Clemmons’ sister, LaTanya Clemmons, who had been charged with rendering aid to her brother’s getaway driver. Prosecutors chose not to try her again.

Douglas Davis argued he shouldn’t be convicted of possessing the weapon Clemmons took from one of the officers because he never touched the weapon.

“I think he’s an innocent guy who found himself in a position he couldn’t get out of,” said Kent Underwood, who represented Davis at trial.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said: “We’re pleased the appellate court upheld the convictions and exceptional sentences against Eddie Davis and Letrecia Nelson. I’m proud of the work our office did, along with law enforcement, in the vigorous prosecution of all those who assisted Maurice Clemmons.”

Eddie Davis and Nelson were charged with rendering criminal assistance to Clemmons and possessing the firearm he had with him when he stopped by Nelson’s home after the killings. Douglas Davis was charged solely with weapons crimes: being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a stolen weapon.

A jury convicted them as charged in December 2010, and prosecutors sought sentences above the standard range. The three appealed.

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