Clallam cop killer died in prison of oral cancer, coroner’s report says

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

MONROE — A Port Angeles man who was serving a life sentence in prison for killing a Clallam County sheriff’s deputy died of a type of mouth cancer, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Thomas Martin Roberts, 66, succumbed to an oral metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma at the infirmary of the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday evening, a representative from the Snohomish County medical examiner said Friday.

The representative said that because of privacy restrictions he could not reveal how long Roberts had the cancer or how it had been treated.

Roberts was convicted of first-degree aggravated murder in November 2002 after he shot and killed Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Wally Davis in 2000 on the porch of Roberts’ home in northeast Port Angeles.

The type of cancer that killed Roberts, the chief risk factors of which are smoking and alcohol use, affects about 30,000 Americans each year, according to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy.

In the U.S., 3 percent of cancers in men and 2 percent of cancers in women are oral squamous-cell carcinomas, according to the Merck Manual.

Davis was survived by his wife, Lisa, who was pregnant at the time and now is living in Republic; a daughter, Jessie, then 15; and two adult sons, Jeff and Joshua.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 26. 2013 6:47PM
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