Jesse L. Hartman (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)

Jesse L. Hartman (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)

Everett man who fled to Mexico given 22 years for fatal shooting

Jesse Hartman crashed into Wyatt Powell’s car and shot him to death. He fled but was arrested on the Mexican border.

EVERETT — An Everett man who fled to Mexico in 2021 after crashing into a man’s car and shooting him to death was sentenced to about 22 years in prison this week.

In November, Hartman, 41, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of Wyatt Powell, 40. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful firearm possession.

Hartman’s girlfriend, Miranda Jones, was sentenced in late January for rendering criminal assistance. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson gave her a sentence of 364 days in jail, with all but 32 days suspended.

In Hartman’s case, the prosecutors and defense disagreed about what range of prison sentence the defendant faced under state guidelines, based on his criminal record.

Prosecutors argued Hartman’s “offender score” was 7, meaning a sentence range of about 18 to 27 years in prison. The defense argued Hartman’s offender score was 5, with a standard range of about 14½ to 23 years in prison. Judge Thompson went with the prosecutor’s recommendation of 22 years.

In December 2020, Jones drove two of her neighbors, including Powell, to a casino in Marysville, the charges said. Powell was unable to enter the casino because he forgot his I.D., and Jones didn’t trust him enough to leave him inside her car. In response, Powell reportedly called her a slur against women.

Hartman learned about the incident and got “increasingly angry.” Hartman later encountered Powell in a parking garage and ran to confront him. He tripped, and Powell reportedly pulled out a pistol and beat Hartman with it.

On the morning of March 21, 2021, Powell had rammed his Toyota Camry into Jones’ vehicle, according to court documents. Hartman followed Powell in his own car and hit Powell’s Camry, forcing it to spin out on Pecks Drive in Everett. Then Hartman rolled down his window and unloaded a clip into the car, shooting Powell in the back of the head, court documents said.

He later died at a hospital, court papers said.

Hartman reportedly later threw the gun into the Snohomish River.

Investigators found pieces of another car and an imprint of another car’s license plate at the scene, according to court papers.

Security footage from local businesses showed a silver Chevrolet Suburban fleeing after the crash, court documents said. Investigators discovered a Suburban with a license plate that matched the number indented on the Camry.

Detectives learned a friend gave the Suburban to Hartman as a gift.

The friend reported Hartman said he had “messed up” the car and was bringing it to the friend’s house in Granite Falls. Jones, 30, also called him and said they had done “something stupid” and needed to leave the car at the man’s house, according to court documents. Surveillance footage of the neighborhood showed Hartman and Jones dropping off the car at the man’s house.

Detectives found the Suburban in Granite Falls. When police put a piece of the car found at the scene next to the Suburban, they “came together like a puzzle piece,” prosecutors wrote.

Hartman and Jones told the friend they were going to flee to Mexico, according to court documents.

After a nationwide manhunt that lasted a few weeks, U.S. Customs officers arrested Hartman at a pedestrian bridge in Otay Mesa, California, while he was trying to re-enter the country from Mexico.

Hartman had previously been convicted of two felonies as an adult and one as a juvenile: attempted second-degree robbery, drive-by shooting and second-degree robbery. He also has six misdemeanor violations.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

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