Jesse L. Hartman (Everett Police Department)

Jesse L. Hartman (Everett Police Department)

Fatal shooting suspect on the run, his whereabouts unknown

Jesse Hartman allegedly shot a man during a chase in Everett. Police are asking for help in finding him.

EVERETT — A suspect in a fatal shooting in Everett is on the run, police say.

According to charging papers, the Everett man could be in Nevada or Mexico. Or anywhere. Police haven’t been able to verify rumors of his travels, or whether he’s even left Snohomish County.

Now they’re asking anyone who might have information for help.

Jesse Lee Hartman, 38, was charged last week in Snohomish County Superior Court with second-degree murder. A judge authorized a $1 million warrant for his arrest.

Hartman is 38, is 5-feet-7 and weighs 150 pounds. He has green eyes and blond hair, and has face and neck tattoos.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

His girlfriend, 37-year-old Miranda Elise Jones, also of Everett, was charged last week, as well, with criminal assistance. She was arrested Friday in Everett, officer Aaron Snell said.

On March 21, Everett police responded at 6:41 a.m. to reports of gunshots and a rollover collision. When they arrived to the scene at 1009 Pecks Drive in Everett, they found a man in the driver’s seat of an upside-down white 1997 Toyota Camry. The car had apparently struck a rock retaining wall at a high speed and flipped, deputy prosecutor Katherine Wetmore wrote in charging papers.

Officers and medics pulled the driver out and saw he had a head injury. At first, they assumed it was from the crash. Later, hospital staff determined it was a gunshot wound.

Wyatt E. Powell, 40, died on March 26.

At the scene, police found three bullet holes in Powell’s car. One of them — likely from the fatal bullet — went through the driver’s headrest. They found four cartridge casings on the ground.

There also was evidence that the Toyota had been rear-ended. The license plate of another vehicle had made an imprint, leaving behind flecks of paint. And a couple pieces of the vehicle’s trim were found nearby.

Witnesses reported seeing an SUV drive away from the scene. Security video from nearby businesses showed an SUV passing through right after the collision, turning onto Evergreen Way. A license plate number search showed the vehicle was a 1998 Chevrolet Suburban.

Hartman and Jones lived less than a half-mile away, at the Housing Hope complex. A woman who also lives there reportedly identified Hartman as a suspect. The two men had been fighting for the past couple months, she said. According to her, Powell had insulted Hartman’s girlfriend, and they’d had issues since.

The woman said she hadn’t seen Hartman or Jones since the collision.

The day after the shooting, police went to the address registered under the Chevy’s license plate, in Granite Falls. They found the SUV nearby, at a food bank. It was missing its front license plate, and the front end had been damaged, according to charging papers. Detectives noted white paint marks on the vehicle.

The Chevy also was missing some trim. The pieces of trim recovered from the scene fit “like a puzzle piece,” Wetmore wrote.

Eventually, the owner of the Chevy showed up at the parking lot. He said that he had sold the SUV a couple weeks before, to someone not named Hartman.

Later, the man changed his story.

He actually gifted the Chevy to Hartman, he said in his updated account, according to the charging papers.

The man reported he got a call from the suspect the morning of March 21. Hartman reportedly said he had messed up and was bringing the Chevy back.

The suspect reportedly said he and Powell had gotten into a fight. According to Hartman’s version of events, Powell struck his girlfriend’s vehicle.

A chase ensued. Hartman said he rear-ended Powell’s car.

As the Toyota flipped, Hartman said, he allegedly emptied his gun while firing at it, according to his friend’s recollection of the conversation.

Jones, too, called the owner of the Chevy that morning. She hinted at a similar story, explaining that she and Hartman had just done something stupid, according to charging papers.

Later, the three met at a home in Marysville. There, Hartman and Jones repeated the story, according to their friend. They reportedly said they believed Powell was dead. Hartman told his friend that he had thrown his gun into the Snohomish River.

They told their friend that he should get rid of the Chevy, according to charging papers.

The friend suggested a possible motive. According to him, Powell had sucker-punched and pistol-whipped Hartman in recent weeks.

The owner of the Chevy also told detectives that when he saw police at the food bank, he messaged Hartman and Jones to warn them. They reportedly replied they were running away to Mexico.

On March 23, the owner of the Chevy called an Everett detective. He said his wife was using the “Nearby Friends” function on Facebook to see where Hartman was going. The application reportedly showed Hartman traveling south. He popped up in Oceanside, California, then Chula Vista, next to the border with Mexico. The next day, he was in Tijuana, the friend reported.

Hartman failed to appear for a trial call in Snohomish County Superior Court on March 26 for a separate charge, unlawful possession of a firearm. A judge authorized a bench warrant for $250,000.

On March 31, an Everett detective got a call from an FBI agent in Nevada. Hartman had apparently reserved a room at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for April 3 and 4, then canceled the reservation. Jones reportedly made a reservation for the same dates.

So far, Everett police haven’t confirmed the leads on Hartman’s whereabouts and list his location as unknown.

In the early 2000s, Hartman was convicted of two violent felonies: second-degree robbery and drive-by shooting. More recently, he was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree assault, in 2016, and third-degree theft, in 2015 — all misdemeanors.

In requesting the $1 million arrest warrant, Wetmore wrote that Hartman “poses a risk of committing a violent crime and interfering with the administration of justice.”

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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