“I had no other options. It was coming fast,” Meade told a Snohomish County jury. He testified that he feared for his life and also believed fellow officer Steve Klocker's life was in danger.
Meade said his only option was “to shoot or get hit or killed myself. I didn't want to have to kill somebody.”
Meade, 41, is on trial for the murder of Niles Meservey outside the Chuckwagon Inn. Prosecutors allege that Meade, an 11-year police veteran, wasn't legally justified in shooting Meservey on June 10. The Stanwood man was intoxicated and refused to get out of his vehicle. He drove forward into a chain link fence. Some witnesses testified that they saw backup lights illuminate on the Corvette immediately before Meade opened fire.
Klocker, an eyewitness to the shooting, told investigators Meade said something like “enough is enough; time to end this,” before gunfire erupted. He said he couldn't be sure if the reverse lights came on. Klocker told jurors that he didn't believe Meade was in danger and that he wouldn't have shot unless someone had been struck.
Meade appeared relaxed on the stand this morning. He elicited a laugh from some courtroom spectators when he said he wasn't concerned about his patrol car being damaged that night because the car was on its last legs.
Meade disputed much of Klocker's testimony. He said he never gave Klocker the signal that he didn't need his assistance. He also denied that he ever told Klocker after the shooting that he was in fear for his life.
Meade also said that based on Klocker's testimony he doesn't believe his fellow officer is qualified to determine when to use force.
Defense attorney David Allen didn't ask Meade if he said “enough is enough; time to end this,” during testimony this morning.
Everett Police Chief Jim Scharf was among scores of Everett police officers watching Meade's testimony. Prosecutors were expected to begin cross examining Meade after the lunch break.
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