Widows of 2 slain WA officers file claim

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The widows of two of four slain Lakewood, Wash., police officers have filed a damages claim that accuses the Washington Department of Corrections of bungling its supervision of the killer.

The Seattle Times reports the claim filed Monday attempts to make Corrections a culpable party in the Nov. 29, 2009, slayings by alleging lapses in the agency's supervision of Maurice Clemmons. The claim's most serious contention accuses Corrections field staff of wrongly ignoring an Arkansas arrest warrant issued in October 2009 against Clemmons, then held in the Pierce County Jail on a child rape accusation.

Clemmons made bail six days before he ambushed the officers at a coffee shop. He was killed by a Seattle patrolman after a two-day manhunt.

In a statement, Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail said the agency would not discuss pending litigation.

The claim does not mention a dollar amount. It was filed on behalf of Kim Renninger, widow of Sgt. Mark Renninger, and Kelly Richards, widow of Officer Greg Richards, and their combined six children.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com