TACOMA – A Pierce County jury today returned a unanimous verdict against a Pacific County man charged with shooting a Washington State Patrol trooper in the back of the head in February 2010.
Assistant Attorneys General John Hillman and Melanie Tratnik prosecuted the case at the request of the Pacific County prosecutor’s office.
“The Attorney General’s Office deeply appreciates the risks our State Patrol troopers take and the sacrifices they make to keep the rest of us safe,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “That’s why this case means so much to our office. I’m grateful for the skill and expertise our assistant attorneys general brought in prosecuting this case.”
Jurors found 46-year-old Martin Jones guilty of attempted murder in the shooting of former trooper Scott Johnson as Johnson was impounding a van belonging to Jones’ wife. Jones’ wife had earlier been arrested and was under investigation for drunken driving.
Johnson was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head. But he survived and recovered. He was elected Pacific County Sheriff in November 2010.
The Attorney General’s Office does not have original criminal jurisdiction to prosecute cases but often handles complex criminal cases at the request of county prosecutors. Assistant Attorneys General may also prosecute criminal cases at the request of the Governor.
UPDATE: Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in Courtroom 2C at the Pierce County Courthouse. (3/9/11)
UPDATE: Jones was sentenced to 50 years in prison (600 months including 60 months for the firearms sentencing enhancement) on March 9. (3/9/11)
Sentencing Memorandum (added 3/9/11)
Contact: Janelle Guthrie, APR, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725