Marysville man’s 3rd strike for robbing drug dealer

EVERETT — A Marysville man accused of robbing, kidnapping and assaulting his drug supplier is expected to be sentenced to life in prison after a jury on Thursday convicted him of his third-strike.

Jeffrey Brinkley, 34, appeared calm as the verdict was read. Jurors deliberated for a few hours after a three-day trial that relied heavily on the testimony of a drug dealer named “Dirty.”

Brinkley faces life in prison when he is sentenced next week. He is expected to appeal Thursday’s verdict.

Prosecutors alleged that Brinkley and his buddy Ethan Mattox turned the tables on a man coming to collect on a drug deal in December 2011. Kenny Easley, aka Dirty, told jurors he was knocked to the ground and hauled into the basement of a Marysville house. Once there, the armed men forced him to hand over his watch, wallet and the keys to his car.

Easley also told jurors that the duo made him strip down to his boxers to see if he was wearing a recording device. He said they also forced him to smoke methamphetamine to prove he wasn’t a cop. Easley matter-of-factly informed jurors that he was a drug dealer, but explained that he’d given up smoking meth years ago as a business move.

Brinkley and Mattox were accused of pilfering a safe in Easley’s car and helping themselves to $4,000, a 9 mm handgun and drugs. The men eventually forced Easley into his car, but not before making him move his child’s car seat to the trunk. That’s when Easley noticed that someone had put a roll of plastic sheeting in the trunk. Easley said he suspected that the men were going to drive him into the woods and kill him.

The men eventually dropped Easley off at a friend’s house. They told him they’d be back.

Easley didn’t wait for them. Instead, he called his boss, the drug supplier who had fronted him the meth and money. That call led to a home invasion robbery in Marysville as Easley and his boss tried to recover what was stolen. The retaliation went south after someone in the heavily armed crew mistook one of their own for a rival and blasted the man in the head with a shotgun, according to prosecutors. Patrick Buckmaster ended up in a shallow grave in east Snohomish County.

Brinkley and Mattox were charged in connection with Easley’s robbery. Several other men were charged with crimes tied to the home invasion, including Johnathan “Bigfoot” Frohs who is expected to go to trial in June for Buckmaster’s murder.

Easley pleaded guilty last year in federal court for his part in the home invasion robbery. He faces at least two decades in prison.

Everett defense attorney Mark Stephens attacked Easley’s credibility, reminding jurors that Dirty has lied to police numerous times about what happened. Stephens said there was no reason to believe that Easley told the truth on the witness stand.

Stephens suggested it was possible that Easley made up the story of being robbed to cover with his boss, a violent man.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore made no effort to pass Easley off as an upstanding citizen — an impossibility after Easley testified wearing a bright orange jail uniform and shackles. Wetmore, however, reminded jurors that she didn’t need to prove that Easley was a nice guy for them to convict Brinkley.

Meanwhile prosecutors on Thursday wrapped up their case against Ronald Brown, Easley’s boss, who is on trial in another courtroom for his alleged role in the home invasion robbery. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations in that case Friday.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read