After Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers last November, the world went looking for someone to blame other than the gunman. It found Mike Huckabee, who made for a convenient target. But it turns out that the world, in all its infinite wisdom, had scapegoated the wrong Arkansas governor.
Thanks to the Seattle Timeslatest entry in the remarkable series on what led up to the shootings, we now know that if any elected official in Arkansas deserves some blame for Clemmons massacre it's not Mike Huckabee, whose only crime was to reduce the sentence of a teenager forced to serve 100 years for non-violent crimes, it's current Governor Mike Beebe.
Last summer, Clemmons was in jail for a number of felony charges, including child rape. His home state of Arkansas had issued a no-bail fugitive warrant, meaning he couldn't get out no matter how much money he offered.
As reported by Jonathan Martin and Ken Armstrong, Clemmons turned to someone he referred to his old lawyer Stephen Morley. To Clemmons, Morley was a "heavyweight" with the connections he'd need to get sprung. He was also a total sleaze.
A onetime traffic judge in North Little Rock, Morley had resigned from the bench in 1997 in the face of 26 disciplinary charges. Adultery accounted for two of the allegations: He was accused of cheating on one wife, getting a divorce, marrying the mistress, then cheating on her.
Morley was also accused of punching both wives in the stomach while they were pregnant.
Somehow, despite the pregnant-lady punching, Morley still had his hands in a number of important pockets. Including Gov. Beebe's liaison to the Arkansas parole system, who he referred to as his "real, real, real good connection" in the statehouse mansion.
Two weeks later, the no-bail warrant was dropped. And shortly thereafter, Clemmons posted bond.
For more on the case, check out the evidence that Clemmons, along with being a murderer, was also the world's shittiest husband.