The case of Washington state copkiller Maurice Clemmons and the entourage that helped him evade police is causing legislators to revisit a bill inspired by a South Hill man's murder 3 1⁄2 years ago.
Randy Ferguson was 45 years old when his wife shot him in their South Hill home and entreated her two adult children to help hide his body in 2006.
Angela Ferguson received nearly 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to her husband’s murder. But Randy's two adult stepchildren, who pleaded guilty to first-degree counts of rendering criminal assistance, escaped jail time.
That's partly because state law allows relatives to be charged with a gross misdemeanor instead of a class C felony if they help a close family member conceal a murder or evade police. After pleading guilty to the gross misdemeanor charge, Claude and Lisa Marie Walz received sentences of community service.
Randy Ferguson's sister, Lisa Moore, has been fighting to change the law for two years.
She got nowhere until last month, when Clemmons and his abettors caught legislators' attention after Clemmons fatally shot four Lakewood police officers.
Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; and officers Tina Griswold, 40; Greg Richards, 42; and Ronald Owens, 37, were slain at a Parkland coffee shop on Nov. 29.
The two-month legislative session begins this week.
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