Murder trial for Auburn police officer delayed for a fourth time

AUBURN, Wash. — A King County judge has delayed the trial of Auburn police officer Jeff Nelson for the fourth time.

Officer Nelson is facing murder and assault charges after shooting and killing 26 year-old Jesse Sarey in 2019. But nearly three years after the deadly shooting, Nelson has yet to see his day in court. Sarey’s foster mom, Elaine Simons, says his loved ones are angry and frustrated by the trial delays.

“We truly thought that everything was proceeding — that June 27 is our day,” said Simons. However, Friday’s delay means the trial will likely be postponed until at least September.

The trial against Nelson is the first time in more than 30 years that a Washington police officer has been charged with murder. It’s also the first case involving a change in state statute that changes the burden of proof for an officer’s use of deadly force.

“This case needs to have results. It needs to have a conviction and it needs to set a precedence for other families that are going to fall behind us,” said Simons. “I do not wish this on any other family.”