by Max Brantley
To clarify matters, here's what state Correction Department spokesman Dina Tyler says the state record shows for a criminal past for Maurice Clemmons (shown in LRPD mugshot), who's being sought for questioning in the slaying of four Washington police officers. (UPDATE on earlier: Clemmons turned out not to be inside a house that officers had surrounded most of the night.)
* Sentenced to 5 years for robbery in Pulaski County, Aug. 3, 1989.
* Sentenced to 8 years for burglary, theft and probation revocation in Pulaski County, Sept. 9, 1989
* Sentenced to an indeterminate amount for aggravated robbery and theft in Pulaski County, Nov. 15, 1989
* Sentenced to 20 years each for burglary and theft of property in Pulaski County, Feb. 23, 1990.
* Sentenced to 6 years for firearm possession in Pulaski County, Nov. 19, 1990.
Tyler said some sentences were concurrent and some consecutive. But the total effect of all these sentences was a sentence of 108 years.
On May 3, 2000, Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted Clemmons' sentence to 47 years, 5 months and 19 days, which made him eligible for parole that day. The Parole Board granted his parole July 13, 2000. He was released Aug. 1, 2000.
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.
Tyler said Clemmons wouldn't fully discharge his paroled sentence until Sept. 19, 2021.
UPDATE: This is rich. The Huckster's national radio show mentioned the case today and "the commutation." He never manages to say who issued that commutation, though he blames the rest of the justice system in two states for Clemmons' being at large. Facts remain hazy on Huck's claim that there was a failure on the part of prosecutors to get him back in prison after Huckabee's parole board had twice cut Clemmons loose.
The LRPD has provided copies of two robbery reports, from 2001 and 2004, in which Clemmons was considered a suspect. Disposition of the 2001 case is unknown. The 2004 case led to issuance of an arrest warrant, a spokesman said, but that charge apparently was dismissed. There was no oustanding warrant for his arrest from Little Rock, police said.