Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer will finally get his day in court to prove why he is undeserving of two misdemeanor charges following a confrontation with Black newspaper carrier Sedrick Altheimer. Troyer’s trial is set to begin July 11 next year, according to the Seattle Times, and we all can’t wait to hear this explanation.
For those who don’t remember, Troyer followed behind Altheimer in his personal unmarked vehicle while the paper carrier was on his regular route in January. Troyer assumed that Altheimer was a porch pirate and just couldn’t determine what he was doing after following him for several stops. After being confronted, Troyer didn’t identify himself as law enforcement but called 911 and told the dispatcher that Altheimer threatened to kill him.
Troyer ended up walking back that claim once a Tacoma, Washington officer questioned him. Still, that didn’t stop prosecutors from charging the sheriff with two misdemeanors, one count of false reporting and another count of making a false or misleading statement to a civil servant.
Judge Jeffrey Jahns approved a July 11 start date during a Zoom hearing in Pierce County District Court on Friday, according to the Associated Press. John Sheeran and Steve Fogg, Troyer’s attorneys, requested the date because of scheduling conflicts and evidence gathering.
From the Times:
Appearing at the virtual hearing wearing a suit and tie, Troyer spoke only briefly, acknowledging he was waiving his right to a speedy trial and agreeing to pretrial conditions.
Troyer was not detained on the misdemeanor charges, but must abide by conditions including refraining from illegal conduct, no contact with Altheimer, and no discussions of the case with law-enforcement witnesses.
Asked by Jahns whether he understood those terms, Troyer replied, “Yes, your honor, I do.”
Assistant attorneys general Melanie Tratnik and Barbara Serrano, who are prosecuting the case, also appeared at the hearing and agreed to the trial date and conditions.
Troyer has denied wrongdoing in the incident, saying he was merely following what he believed to be a suspicious vehicle. He has previously called the criminal charges against him a “politically motivated hit job.”
Altheimer filed a lawsuit against both Troyer, who refuses to resign, and Pierce County in October. More than 40 officers responded to Troyer’s call, blocking in the newspaper carrier’s car, questioning and searching him.
The Times reports that Troyer was placed on the county’s “Brady list” of law enforcement officers, which can be used to impeach an officer’s testimony in criminal cases. According to AP, Troyer, who is a 35-year veteran in the department, can be sentenced up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.