EVERETT — A former Everett police officer is guilty of official misconduct and unlawful recording, but not perjury or stalking, his defense attorney told a jury this week.
Witness testimony wrapped up Friday in the trial for Jared Corson, 37, of Kirkland. He is accused of using police equipment to stalk his ex-girlfriend and trying to frame her new boyfriend for crimes.
The ex-cop is charged with first-degree perjury, a felony, as well as stalking, official misconduct and intercepting private communication.
A Snohomish County Superior Court jury began deliberating Friday afternoon.
Defense attorney Karen Halverson asked the jury to find Corson not guilty of two out of four crimes he is charged with.
“There is not going to be a dispute about whether or not Jared was involved in an unauthorized investigation in count three,” Halverson told the court during her opening statement. “What is in dispute is whether or not Jared committed perjury in count one. What’s also in dispute is whether or not Jared committed stalking.”
Deputy prosecutor Michael Boska countered that Corson “made a series of decisions in this case to escalate his conduct again and again and again.”
“Because he wanted to abuse the power given to him as a police officer in his effort to be possessive and controlling over the life” of the ex-girlfriend, he said.
Corson was sworn in as an Everett patrol officer in 2015. A third-generation cop, Corson spent five years on the job before he was put on administrative leave in December 2020, when the Everett Police Department launched an internal investigation into his police work. He resigned months later.
In 2017, Corson met a woman, then 27, while on duty in Everett, according to charging papers. Corson was investigating an assault at a nearby deli and identified the woman as a possible witness.
She was working at a bikini barista stand, Boska said in court. He was married. She didn’t know he had a wife when they met, according to a civil complaint filed by the woman.
Corson continued to contact her after the investigation, and the two began dating in April 2018. Boska told the jury the woman felt comfortable when the relationship started, and that Corson and the woman were “in love with each other.” But the defendant wanted to control the relationship, Boska said in his closing argument Friday.
Boska read aloud a message that Corson sent the woman: “Getting in my head how I’d like to destroy most of the guys who drive up to your stand.”
She reportedly broke up with the defendant months later, in September 2018, telling him she was seeing someone else. Corson began tracking the woman’s whereabouts on her phone that month, according to the civil complaint.
The defendant drove past the woman’s friend’s home one day and took down the license plate number of a car parked out front, the charges say. The car belonged to his ex’s new boyfriend.
Corson went to work and searched the license plate number using a database he had access to through his job, according to charging papers. He also reportedly asked dispatchers to check the man for warrants and criminal history.
One morning, the woman found an alarming note on her car. It appeared to have been written in the kind of paper used for traffic tickets, she told police.
“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 woman told Corson to stop, asking him to “please PLEASE” stop showing up at her work and leave her alone.
He did not listen, prosecutors allege.
Corson reportedly installed a privately acquired tracker on the new boyfriend’s car and plotted an elaborate scheme to frame him for arrest.
In October, Corson contacted a King County sheriff’s deputy “currently working a case” involving drug dealing, the charges say. The new boyfriend was his purported target.
The detective and Corson reportedly communicated for several weeks. Some of their email conversations were read aloud by the detective in court this week.
Corson told the detective that the new boyfriend’s car had another vehicle’s license plate on the back, according to the charges.
“The (new boyfriend) still has that other license plate on the back of his car,” Corson wrote, according to the deputy’s testimony. “… Who knows if he will swap another plate to that car? But, as for now, there’s an easy way to stop him to make contact.”
That license plate was later found on the new boyfriend’s vehicle, the charges allege, “apparently placed there as a legal basis to stop the vehicle.”
In her closing argument, Corson’s defense attorney said the defendant was not guilty of stalking his ex-girlfriend.
“The prosecutor is making this argument that he did these things to (the new boyfriend) in order to keep his (ex-girlfriend),” Halverson told the court. “But there’s not any evidence that he did that. All he tells (the ex-girlfriend) about the investigation is that (the new boyfriend) has a felony conviction, he just got out of jail, he’s on probation and he’s still dealing drugs.”
On Dec. 30, 2019, the woman filed for a temporary protection order against Corson in Snohomish County District Court.
“I’m scared for my life and I don’t think the things (Corson) has been doing are sane,” the woman wrote.
The court granted the temporary protection order.
On Jan. 23, 2020, Corson and his attorney filed a response objecting to the order, the charges say.
Under penalty of perjury, Corson wrote:
“I have never surveilled (the ex-girlfriend) … I do not follow her or (the new boyfriend). I am no longer involved in any investigation of (the new boyfriend) as I turned it over to the proper jurisdiction.”
Yet prosecutors wrote the defendant was “monitoring and surveilling (the new boyfriend) via an unauthorized GPS tracking device until Jan. 13, 2020 …”
Corson’s defense attorney argued the defendant did not put his ex-girlfriend under surveillance. After the jury began deliberating, they asked a question of the court: What is the exact definition of surveillance?
Jurors had not reached a verdict by the end of Friday. They’ll return Monday morning to continue discussions.