TACOMA — Cop-killer suspect Maurice Clemmons sank into a pool of debt to bail himself out of jail.
He knew the bail process. He’d worked for a Seattle bail company in early 2004, one of his first jobs after he paroled out of prison in Arkansas and moved to Washington.
He bailed out of the Pierce County Jail three times this year, most recently on Nov. 23, six days before he allegedly shot and killed four Lakewood police officers. The aftermath of those slayings includes speculation about where Clemmons got the money to get out.
The bail bonds, posted in May, July and November, totaled $420,000. To convince bail companies to represent him, Clemmons had to raise $42,000 in cash or equivalent collateral. Public records show he took loans against two of his houses.
Clemmons claimed to own five houses, four in Washington, one in Arkansas, according to his statements in court records. Searches of Washington property records show Clemmons owned three properties in Pierce County, purchased in 2008. He took loans against two of them on July 24, the same day he posted $190,000 in bail bonds.
Records from the state Department of Corrections show Clemmons worked a succession of jobs after arriving in Washington in 2004. His employers included a recycling company and a plumbing company. He cleaned gutters on the side, and bought a pressure washer. He formed two businesses: a pressure-washing company and a hot dog outlet, both based in Federal Way.
The debts began to catch up with him over the summer. Records show that Clemmons had five liens placed on his properties between May 8 and Sept. 2. The liens totaled $9,800.
Transcripts of a third bail hearing on Nov. 12 in Pierce County Superior Court show Clemmons was worried about money. He wanted to reuse the bail he’d posted in July. The judge, Thomas Felnagle, saw it differently. Clemmons would have to post bail all over again another $190,000.
“Do I get my money back?” Clemmons asked.
No one answered him. He didn’t get his money.
Information from The News Tribune, www.thenewstribune.com.