Opening statements in the trial of Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer were delivered in court late Wednesday afternoon.
Opening statements were scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but were delayed by jury selection, which was initially set to run from 8:45 a.m. to noon.
Jury selection in the trial had previously been delayed after Troyer came down with a case of the flu.
Troyer is accused of calling 911 to report that Sedrick Altheimer, a Black newspaper carrier, threatened to kill him in January 2021.
He made the call after following Altheimer around the neighborhood in his vehicle. About 40 officers responded to the scene.
Altheimer denied making threats. The prosecution said according to responding officers, Troyer walked back on claims that Altheimer threatened him. In court on Wednesday, Troyer’s attorney said the sheriff never recanted those initial statements.
In October 2021, the Washington State attorney general charged Troyer with misdemeanor counts of false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
Since then, Troyer has been accused of violating his no-contact order with Altheimer, which he says led him to quit his newspaper delivery job.
Troyer has continued to deny any allegations of wrongdoing.
If he is convicted, Troyer could be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail and fined up to $5,000 on each count, according to court documents.
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