Everett ex-cop charged with trying to frame ex’s boyfriend

Jared Corson, a third-generation police officer, is accused of perjury, stalking and official misconduct.

Jared Corson (City of Everett)

Jared Corson (City of Everett)

EVERETT — A former Everett police officer abused his authority by stalking an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend — trying to frame him for felonies through an illegal investigation, by illegally placing a tracking device on his car and by denying the misconduct under oath in court, according to new charges filed in Snohomish County.

Prosecutors charged Jared Corson, 36, with first-degree perjury, a felony, as well as misdemeanors for domestic violence stalking, violating state privacy law and official misconduct. Corson, a third-generation cop living in Kirkland, was sworn in as an Everett patrol officer in 2015. He had also worked with his father to help at-risk youth in need of role models at an adventure camp in Index.

Corson was placed on administrative leave in December. He resigned May 11. Everett police are now conducting an internal investigation into his police work, as well as to see if any policies or procedures need to be changed.

Charges allege Corson’s abuses of authority escalated for months, starting when he met the woman, then 27, while on duty in Everett. She was working at an espresso stand. The officer responded to an assault at a nearby deli on Nov. 8, 2018. He took a witness statement from her and made no arrests. He kept in touch with the woman on the phone and in person, bringing her gifts. According to charging papers, Corson also sent videos to the woman showing vulnerable people — mentally ill or intoxicated — without asking for consent to record or share the footage.

They were dating by spring 2019. Around then, Corson took her on multiple ride-alongs in his patrol car until a sergeant advised him to stop and later ordered him to stop, the charges say. In June 2019, officers noted the woman was sitting in Corson’s vehicle while he worked a security detail at Walmart, the court papers say. She broke up with him in September 2019, telling him she had a new boyfriend.

Days later, at the start of his shift, Corson used a police computer to check a license plate parked outside a home where the woman was staying in Kirkland, according to the charges. The car belonged to the new boyfriend. Corson reportedly asked dispatch to check the man for warrants and criminal history.

Later in the day, he used his work cell phone to write a message to a mutual friend: “Yo … it’s been a minute heard (the boyfriend) has been kicken it widcha (racial slur) could u sling me his # tryn to get some good (expletive) ASAP!”

The woman hadn’t told Corson the name of her new boyfriend, but he confronted her about the man having a criminal record on Sept. 9 via text messages. The next day she awoke to find a note on her car written on the kind of paper often used for a traffic ticket. It appeared Corson had written disturbing messages.

“I do what I can to protect you from evil,” it read. “I was more than jealous to know you wanted someone else, but him, just made me anxious and sick to my stomach. And beyond angry. … My warrior side wanted to slay the dragon before it devoured your heart.”

The same day, he sent the woman an audio recording of him setting up a deal to buy $500 in “blow” (cocaine) from the new boyfriend, court papers say. Investigators found no evidence to suggest Corson had permission or a warrant to record the call, an alleged violation of state wiretapping law.

Corson warned the woman that her new boyfriend was most likely going back to jail for dealing drugs and that it would have been “wrong of me not to tell you.” Court papers say he continued to text her about his fear of losing her, his anger and pain, and how he wanted to be there for her — “unless you got a restraining order? Then I’m out, cuz I ain’t going to jail for you.”

That week, she told him to “please PLEASE” stop showing up at her workplace and buying her things, and to just leave her alone.

In October, Corson contacted a King County sheriff’s deputy to say he was “currently working a case” involving drug dealing — with the new boyfriend the target. He kept in touch with the King County detective for weeks, feeding him a list of places where the man had been; where he had stayed; and the name of the suspect’s new girlfriend. Corson told the detective he probably had enough evidence to put a GPS tracker on the vehicle.

Prosecutors believe Corson had already put a tracker there, without a warrant.

The charges also accuse him of stealing another woman’s license plate and affixing it to the man’s car to frame him for theft.

Corson tipped off state troopers in November that a suspected drug dealer would be driving through Lewis County, telling them the car had a stolen license plate and that the case was “a big thing with King County and us.” The trooper confiscated the stolen plate but let the three occupants go when everyone in the car expressed surprise over it. Then the trooper called the Everett officer. Corson reportedly explained he knew the plate was stolen, but he’d left it there so he could have an excuse to stop the car in the future. He told the trooper he could have arrested the man “so that he at least could have spent the night in jail,” the charges say.

In December, the woman opened her Google account to find it had been accessed by “Jared Corson’s iPhone” about nine minutes earlier, the charges say. She feared he was tracking her. She filed for a restraining order on Dec. 30, writing he’d been behaving like a stalker.

“I feel like he is going to hurt me or even my boyfriend’s life,” she wrote. “He has threatened to go after (the new boyfriend) if I got a restraining order. … I’m scared for my life and I don’t think the things he has been doing are sane.”

Corson responded in January in a sworn declaration in which he claimed he had cut off contact with her in October 2019, had never kept her or her new boyfriend under surveillance, and that he had ethically turned over the drug-dealing investigation to the proper authorities.

He stated he had checked the car’s license plate in September because he had shown up to drop off items for the woman, saw drugs in the car, reported his observation — and then “eventually” got in touch with the King County detective. But no police in the area had any record of an active investigation until Corson contacted the detective weeks later. He never reported seeing drugs in the car at all, the charges say.

In January, the woman found a GPS tracker with audio attached to the underside of her new boyfriend’s car. Monroe police seized the device, got a search warrant for relevant business records and found it had been activated with a monthly subscription to Jared Corson of Kirkland beginning in October 2019. Later, the name of the subscriber was updated to “Billy Jones,” with another address.

Monroe police confirmed no police agency authorized the device to be installed.

Prosecutors accused Corson of perjury for lying in court records about whether he’d been surveilling the couple. His statements “were not only misleading, but demonstrably false,” wrote deputy prosecutor Michael Boska.

A Monroe police detective led the investigation into Corson’s conduct.

In the midst of the investigation, on Feb. 28, Corson’s name was added to the Snohomish County prosecutor’s Potential Impeachment Disclosure list, sometimes known as the “Brady list,” in reference to the U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland. The document names police officers and law enforcement personnel with known credibility issues. Once branded as a Brady cop, anytime the officer testifies the prosecutor must disclose to the defense that the officer has a history of lying, or covering up evidence, or other serious misconduct. Otherwise, the case could be dismissed, or a conviction could be reversed.

An estimated 25 cases — some pending, some filed — could be affected because of the finding against Corson, according to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.

Formal charges were filed against Corson on June 5 amid widespread nationwide protests against police brutality and abuses of authority in the wake of the killings of Minneapolis man George Floyd; Kentucky woman Breonna Taylor; and Georgia man Ahmaud Arbery.

At the time charges were signed, Snohomish County prosecutors did not intend to ask a judge to set bail, instead permitting Corson to remain free from jail pending trial. A summons to appear in court was mailed to the defendant this week. His arraignment is set for June 25.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman released a written statement around 4 p.m. Friday.

“I am extremely disappointed in the conduct of our former officer. Police officers work very hard every day to earn the trust and respect of our community,” the chief said. “Mr. Corson’s behavior was unacceptable and he clearly breached the public’s trust and jeopardized that respect. He violated our core values of honor, professionalism and integrity and there is no excuse for his behavior. This is the opposite of what we expect of our officers.”

In the civil case involving the restraining order, Corson was represented by Paul J. Grass, who is a former police officer. Grass did not immediately respond to a phone message Friday.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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