Testimony enters fourth day in Meade murder trial

  • Mon Apr 19th, 2010 2:30pm
  • News

By Diana Hefley Herald writer

EVERETT — A Snohomish County jury spent the morning listening to testimony from two witnesses for the defense in the case against Everett police officer Troy Meade.

Because of scheduling, Seattle attorney David Allen was allowed to put two of his witnesses on the stand. Prosecutors have not rested their case yet and are expected to call additional witnesses this afternoon, including trajectory analysis experts.

Allen called a retired anesthesiologist to talk about the effects of alcohol on suspects and another witness who studies police officer-involved shootings.

This is the fourth day of testimony in Meade’s trial. The 11-year veteran is accused of opening fire on Niles Meservey June 10 outside a central Everett restaurant. Meservey was intoxicated and belligerent. He repeatedly ignored Meade’s commands to exit his vehicle. He was shot seven times while sitting behind the wheel of his Corvette.

Meade is charged with murder and manslaughter.

Most of this morning’s testimony came from Dr. David Klinger, a senior research scientist at The Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank and research house focused on police work.

Klinger spoke mostly of his work studying police officers involved in using deadly force. Klinger, a former police officer, studied 80 officers who fired at people in the line of duty. He found that the majority of those officers had experienced some sort of distorted perception during the incident, including leading up to pulling the trigger and after they fired.

Those distortions included heightened sight or dulled hearing. Some also reported experiencing the situation in slow motion or seeing things in “tunnel vision,” where they are focused on specific details such as the suspect’s face, Klinger said.

He also testified that officers experience intrusive thoughts during these incidents, such as recalling a previous situations where they faced danger.

In 2006, Meade fired at a fleeing car after the suspect hit another officer who was attempting to get the driver to stop. Without offering an opinion on Meade, Klinger told jurors that kind of situation could affect an officer’s decision making in another high-stress circumstance.

Prosecutors are expected to continue cross-examining Klinger after lunch.