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Did Wa. Cop Doing His Job Commit Murder?

Did Wa. Cop Doing His Job Commit Murder?

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The Seattle Times via YellowBrix

April 15, 2010

EVERETT, WA — Snohomish County jurors began hearing a case Wednesday that will ultimately require them to answer an extremely rare and difficult question: Did a police officer commit murder when he shot a belligerent, drunken driver outside a restaurant.

Prosecutors allege Everett Officer Troy Meade intentionally killed Niles Meservey, 51, on the night of June 10 in the parking lot of the Chuckwagon Inn in North Everett, constituting second-degree murder.

Meade, 41, who joined the department in 1998 and is on paid administrative leave, also has been charged with first-degree manslaughter for allegedly acting recklessly. Jurors will have the option of convicting him of one or both criminal counts, or acquitting him.

Meade maintains he feared he was going to be hit by Meservey’s car during the incident, and that he fired eight shots out of fear he would be seriously injured or killed.

In opening statements at Meade’s trial Wednesday, prosecutor John Adcock and defense attorney David Allen laid out sharply different accounts of what occurred when Meade responded to a call that a highly intoxicated Meservey was about to drive from the parking lot.

Adcock said Meade’s job was to “serve and protect.”

But on the night of the incident, “the defendant did neither,” said Adcock, who told jurors that another Everett officer who was at the scene will testify Meservey posed no danger to him or Meade throughout the incident.

Meservey was in his Corvette, parked between two cars and facing a fence, with Meade’s patrol car parked 15 feet behind in a perpendicular position, Adcock said.

The other officer, Steven Klocker, heard Meservey refuse Meade’s orders to get out of the car, Adcock said.

Meade eventually shot Meservey twice with Tasers, but Meservey was able to start his car, Adcock said.

Klocker told Meade he was going to put Meade’s car bumper to bumper with the Corvette, but before he could do that Klocker heard eight gunshots.

According to charging papers, Meservey had driven into the chain-link fence just before the shots were fired. Meade had continued to yell at Meservey to get out of the car, then Klocker heard Meade say something like: “Time to end this; enough is enough” before Meade fired the shots through the car’s rear window, charging papers say.

Investigators determined Meade was standing to the rear and left of the Corvette and was “not in any danger of being struck,” Adcock told the jury.

Klocker reported that he and Meade still had other nonlethal options and never were in imminent danger during the incident, Adcock said.

At the end of his remarks, Adcock told jurors that “no one is above the law. No one. Not a police officer, not this defendant.”

In the defense opening, Allen told jurors Meade will testify during the trial. The lawyer challenged Klocker’s credibility, saying the reason Klocker wasn’t in danger was because he ran away without backing up Meade.

Allen said it wasn’t until two weeks after the incident that Klocker told investigators he remembered the “enough is enough” remark.

During the incident, Meade knew Meservey was seriously intoxicated, which was supported by a finding that Meservey had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, more than three times the state’s legal limit, and that the Taser had been ineffective, Allen said.

Meade also was cognizant of a similar incident in 2006, when he witnessed another officer get hit and injured by a car driven by a suspect who appeared drunk or on drugs, Allen said. Another officer narrowly avoided being hit, Allen added.

When Meade saw the Corvette’s backup lights come on after the car hit the fence, the officer knew he was in danger of being hit and feared being killed or maimed, Allen said.

After hearing all the evidence, Allen told the jury, they will conclude Meade’s action was justifiable.

“He was out doing his duty, and doing it well,” Allen said.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    I agree, crlittle554. Bump.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lawman98375

    almost 4 years ago

    56 Comments

    The jury DID acquit the officer of the charges!!

  • Blue_line_decal_max50

    crlittle554

    almost 4 years ago

    506 Comments

    There's a whole lot of missing information in this and I'm just not comfortable with that. Firstly, the officer who was going to move his car was obviously not right there when the shots rang out; he would have been some distance away. I'd find it almost impossible to say that the officer responded with an inappropriate amount of force if I wasn't in that situation. If this guy says he saw the reverse lights, even if he was standing to the side, he had reason to fear for his life. Cars have this new invention, called the steering wheel. Let's 'em change direction. Crazy stuff, I know.

    Also, I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable using a qualifier such as "something like that" when saying what someone said right before or after an incident. I would need to be CERTAIN of what was said before saying anything. Then there's the defense's statement that the other officer didn't come up with the damning statement about what Meade said until some time later, after the incident.

    Lots of gaps here. To me, seems like there's more than enough here to acquit. But, that's obviously going from this article, which isn't the whole story.

  • Image001_max50

    mtpoliceman

    about 4 years ago

    26 Comments

    Damned if we do damned if we don't. Had this drunk gotten on to the street and killed an bystander or himself we still would be having a trial. The officer would be charge with failure to preform his duties. It is never good when people make choices that directly cause there death. It is never good when an officer has to be the final cause. God bless both of them. One for his actions, the other for keeping the rest of us safe. Either way it sucked for the officer.

  • Flowers_20_234__max50

    KarenLee

    about 4 years ago

    3856 Comments

    This just sucks

  • Dsc01876_max50

    mtuley1158

    about 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    Thank God the Officer is safe and did what he had to do to survive the incident.

  • Images_max50

    OFFICER_K_CPD

    about 4 years ago

    2296 Comments

    .......

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    Sounds like another long drawn out trial that could take a very long time for this officer.

  • Wolfspirit_max50

    AKangel

    about 4 years ago

    4950 Comments

    Hope the officer did the right thing, this is a wait and see....

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    about 4 years ago

    23110 Comments

    I just don't know what to think however, I would like a followup on the end results.

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    usa_24

    about 4 years ago

    5022 Comments

    Yikes what a big mess.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    about 4 years ago

    10910 Comments

    Taking a wait-and-see approach on this ......

  • Canada-flag_max50

    canadiancop

    about 4 years ago

    236 Comments

    Once again, another mess according to the way media portrays this. I'm still not sure how this sits with me. Several things to consider but we don't know how we are going to react until we are in the situation. I mean if the officer truly felt his life was in danger and he was not able to escape the fleeing vehicle, then the shooting would not only be justified but needed.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    I'm also going to wait until more comes out, but 2 things disturb me. 1, if the officer did say what the other officer stated, well, that's really hard to overcome. 2nd, the article says the back-up lights came on, but doesn't really say if the car was actually moving back. If all he was was back up lights and the car was not moving, then it's still just a parked car and I think it will be hard to prove the danger part

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    wildsoldier

    about 4 years ago

    1246 Comments

    This is a difficult situation. No one really saw what happened. His back-up officer didn't even really see what happened. If the officer did say "time to end this", and boom, then the Dept of Corrections just got another inmate. If the officer felt he or anyone else was in danger of being injured there is no case here. Above all else the officer has to protect the public, as well as the subject from harm. If this was his only option then so be it. You have to use enough force to subdue a subject, after submission is achieved the fight is over. If he was truly scared for his life, then he is INNOCENT....

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