Judge: Sheriff must post bail after anti-harassment order

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The Pierce County, Wash., sheriff has been ordered to post $100,000 bond pending trial for misrepresentations related to his controversial confrontation last year with a black newspaper carrier.

Judge Jeffrey Jahns imposed bail — 10 times the amount prosecutors are seeking — on Friday during a hearing in Pierce County District Court in Tacoma, revoking Sheriff Ed Troyer’s earlier release on personal recognizance.

The Seattle Times reports that Jahns initially ordered the sheriff to be taken into custody until he dropped the money or bond — telling him, “Mr. Troyer, you are not free to leave this courtroom” – prompting an angry objection from Troyer’s lawyer, John Sheeran.

Jahns relented after Troyer’s attorney produced a bond agency representative in the courtroom, who said bail would be posted immediately.

Troyer faces felony charges of misrepresentation and false or misleading statement to an official during his Jan. 27, 2021 confrontation with Altheimer, who was delivering newspapers on his regular route.

In his decision from the bench, Jahns pointed to testimony that Troyer deliberately violated his bail conditions by repeatedly contacting Sedrick Altheimer, the newspaper carrier, over the past few months, and characterized Troyer’s testimony on the incidents of « not credible » and « false or misleading ».

Jahns found that Troyer posed « a substantial danger to the community, particularly to Mr. Altheimer. »

Jahns pointed to Troyer’s status as a top law enforcement official in Pierce County, saying that Altheimer, as a black man in his twenties, would have every reason to fear for his safety due to shares of Troyer.

In an emailed statement late Friday, Sheeran criticized the bail decision.

“Sheriff Troyer did nothing to warrant the court posting bail today and compared to a number of heinous crimes charged in Pierce County this week, the amount was clearly excessive,” Sheeran said.

The Associated Press


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