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Criminal history of Maurice Clemmons disturbs Washingtonians

The long criminal history of Maurice Clemmons, accused of killing four police officers near Seattle, has officials examining how the state handles repeat offenders.

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Since four police officers were gunned down Sunday in a suburban Seattle coffee shop, a disturbing narrative has emerged about the alleged shooter and his long, troubled history with the law – raising new questions in Washington about how the state treats repeat offenders.

Maurice Clemmons, who was fatally shot Tuesday after becoming the focus of a massive manhunt following the tragic shootings, had a lengthy rap sheet even before he moved to the Seattle area in 2004. In Arkansas he had been convicted of aggravated robbery, theft, burglary, and firearms possession. His 108-year prison sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000.

According to the Arkansas Times, Clemmons returned to a life of crime after being released by Mr. Huckabee. "Clemmons then returned to prison for a July 13, 2001, conviction for robbery in Ouachita County, for which he received a 10-year sentence. He was paroled March 18, 2004," the newspaper reported.

That parole was transferred to Washington, where Clemmons grew up. Once there, according to King 5 News, he "worked all sorts of jobs: Landscaping. Removing seats from buses. Recycling metals. Real estate."

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