The murder trial of Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson is scheduled for Feb. 28, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Nelson has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault after the May 2019 shooting death of Jesse Sarey.
Nelson is the first police officer charged with murder in King County, a charge that was brought on by new legal standards imposed by the voter-approved Initiative 940, which no longer requires prosecutors to prove “malice” or ill intent by an officer involved in a death.
Nelson shot Sarey once in the torso and again in the forehead after Nelson tried to initiate a disorderly conduct misdemeanor arrest against Sarey, according to charging papers.
Nelson waited more than 3.4 seconds between the first shot in Sarey’s torso, which put him on the ground, and the second shot, which Nelson placed in Sarey’s forehead while he was still on the ground.
King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg claimed via written statement that Nelson’s use of his firearm was unreasonable and that he did little to de-escalate the situation and instead created the deadly situation with his own actions.
Nelson will be represented by his defense attorneys, Emma C. Scanlan and Timothy Leary.
Nelson is still employed with the police department and has been placed on administrative leave, according to a city spokesperson.