Jury clears Everett police officer Troy Meade of murder, manslaughter charges

EVERETT — A Snohomish County jury this afternoon acquitted Everett police officer Troy Meade of all criminal charges in the June 10 shooting of Niles Meservey.

The verdict, announced at about 2:30 p.m., was greeted by brief applause and tears in a Snohomish County courtroom.

Meade, 41, later said his heart goes out to Meservey’s family and he bears no ill will to anyone involved in the case.

“I want to put it behind me and go back to work,” he said.

Meade’s attorney, David Allen of Seattle, said he was pleased with the swift verdict, which he said was a vindication for his client.

“He acted lawfully,” Allen said of Meade.

Meservey’s family has filed a $15 million civil lawsuit against Meade and the city of Everett.

“I am sorry the jury was unable to convict Officer Meade of a crime, but I understand how difficult it is to obtain a conviction where there is a presumption of innocence and a burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Tanda Louden, daughter of Niles Meservey. “Nevertheless, I am confident that a jury in a civil case will find Officer Meade responsible and hold him fully accountable in the damage case.”

Everett Police Chief Jim Scharf refused to answer questions after the verdict was announced. He referred all questions to city hall.

“The City of Everett respects our system of justice and the significant responsibility entrusted to the jury in this case,” city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. “In light of other pending legal matters, it would not be appropriate for the City to offer any additional comments at this time.”

She said Meade remains on paid administrative leave and she could not comment on what will happen now that he has been acquitted.

After the verdict was announced, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Gerald Knight sent the jury back behind closed doors to decide whether Meade acted in self defense. If so, the costs of his defense must be borne by the state.

The jury was sent home at about 5:25 p.m. without having announced a decision. Jurors were scheduled to return Tuesday morning.

Meade had little visible reaction when the verdict was read, but in the minutes prior, the strain was clear on the officer’s face. He could have been headed to prison for up to 18 years.

Meade in October was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Jurors found him not guilty on both counts.

The 11-year Everett police veteran earlier testified that he was afraid for his life the night he fired eight shots into the back of Meservey’s Chevrolet Corvette outside the Chuckwagon Inn.

Meservey, 51, was intoxicated and uncooperative when he drove into a chain link fence. Meade testified that he saw the car’s back up lights flash on. He said the car was coming back toward him when he unholstered his gun and began firing.

Meservey was struck seven times from behind. He died in the parking lot.

Meade’s testimony often contradicted that of Everett police officer Steven Klocker, an eyewitness to the shooting. Klocker told jurors he didn’t believe that anyone was in danger that night. He testified that just before gunfire erupted Meade turned to him and said something like, “enough is enough; time to end this.”

Meade denied saying anything before he shot into the Corvette. He testified that he believed he was going to be crushed by the car and there was no time to get out of the way. Meade said he fired until he saw Meservey slump over. Meade told jurors he and other officers are trained to keep firing until there is no longer a threat.

“I didn’t want to have to kill anybody,” Meade said Thursday during his testimony.

The verdict was read in a courtroom that many days during the trial had been packed with off-duty police officers.

Everett police officer Richard Somerville today was among those present when the verdict was announced.

Somerville said he was relieved for Meade. Police officers often face similar challenges.

“You have to make a split second decision. It’s very tough,” he said.

Somerville also said he was thinking of Klocker.

“I believe he was very honest and truthful of what he saw” from his vantage, Somerville said.

Herald Writers Jackson Holtz and Eric Stevick contributed to this report

Talk to us

More in Local News

A SWAT team responds during an 8-hour standoff between police and a man brandishing a knife at a home in south Edmonds on Sunday night. (Edmonds Police Department)
9-hour Edmonds standoff with knife-wielding man ends in arrest

The man reportedly threatened to kill his family. Police spent hours trying to get him to come outside.

Security footage depicting an armed robbery at Buds Garage in Everett on Tuesday, Jan.18, 2022. (Contributed photo)
Everett pot shop robbed twice; others targeted in recent months

Armed robbers have hit Buds Garage off Everett Avenue twice since December.

Police: Everett man left family member with life-threatening injuries

An Everett man, 23, was in jail on $100,000 bail after being accused of confronting women and attacking a relative.

The Snow Goose Transit bus at one of it's stops outside of the Lincoln Hill Retirement Community on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Catch a free bus between Camano, Stanwood, Smokey Point

Snow Goose Transit runs on weekdays, offering 15 stops and — for those with mobility issues — door-to-door service.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw
Snohomish County judge accused of ‘needlessly’ exposing staff to COVID

Adam Cornell argues the incident reinforces a need to suspend jury trials, as omicron wreaks havoc.

Connie L. Bigelow at her store Miniatures & More in Edmonds on Tuesday. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Woman who lit her own Edmonds doll store on fire gets house arrest

Connie Bigelow, 54, was sentenced Friday in federal court for lighting her business on fire to collect insurance money.

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121
State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is no longer required reading in Mukilteo

The school board on Monday voted to remove it from the list for ninth-graders, at the urging of teachers and students.

A rendering of the Compass Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment looks southwest at the building. The facility is planned for 82,000 square feet with a behavioral health clinic with a 16-bed inpatient center and a 16-bed crisis triage center. (Ankrom Moisan Architects)
Demolition eyed in spring for Compass Health Broadway campus

The Everett-based behavioral health care provider wants to replace the 1920-built Bailey Center with a modern facility.

Most Read