A Pierce County jury last week found Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer not guilty of false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant after an early morning encounter with a newspaper carrier in 2021.
The Attorney General’s Office filed the charges against Troyer after Gov. Jay Inslee referred the case to the office.
The charges stemmed from an incident that began at approximately 2 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2021, when Troyer called the 911 “officer line” and told a dispatcher that the carrier “knows who I am and he threatened to kill me.”
“Part of upholding the rule of law is respecting the decision of a jury,” Ferguson said in a press release. “I appreciate the jury’s service, and thank my team for their hard work.”
Troyer had followed the man during part of the carrier’s route. After the newspaper carrier approached Troyer and asked him why he was following him, the two got into a verbal exchange that eventually led to them facing each other in their vehicles on the road.
Troyer’s call to dispatch and claim of a threat on his life prompted more than 40 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies to rush toward the scene to assist another officer they believed was in danger. According to charging documents, despite his statement to dispatchers, officers on scene reported that Troyer later told them the carrier did not threaten him.
Officers released the newspaper carrier to finish his route about half an hour after they arrived on scene.
On April 24, 2021, Inslee referred the criminal investigation to the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office does not have authority to initiate criminal investigations unless it receives and accepts a referral from a county prosecutor or the governor.
After its investigation of the incident, the Attorney General’s Office filed two misdemeanor charges against Troyer in October of 2021.
Assistant attorneys general Melanie Tratnik and Barbara Serrano, paralegal Jennifer Payne and legal assistant Rebecca Hendrickson are handling the case for the Attorney General’s Office.
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