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Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Oct. 3, 2023

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Opening statements in Pierce Sheriff Troyer’s trial pushed again. Here’s what’s next


TACOMA — Opening statements in the trial of Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer in connection to his 2021 confrontation with a Black newspaper carrier have been rescheduled again after attorneys failed to conclude jury selection on Monday.

Jury selection was first planned for two days last week prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, and opening statements were scheduled for Monday. Instead, jury selection was postponed until Monday when Troyer’s attorneys said he tested positive for the flu early last week.

Opening statements are now scheduled for 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The News Tribune and Pierce County are live streaming the trial.

Prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s Office and Troyer’s defense attorneys questioned more than a dozen potential jurors individually during several hours of proceedings on Monday about their views of law enforcement in general and their opinions on Troyer’s high-profile case. Multiple jurors also were dismissed due to hardships around medical conditions and familial conflicts or because they did not show up to court.

Many questions from attorneys involved the potential jurors’ consumption of news coverage of the Jan. 27, 2021, incident where Troyer called a law enforcement-only phone line to report that a suspicious motorist he’d followed in his Tacoma neighborhood had threatened to kill him.

A dispatcher then entered a distress call that dispatched more than 40 law enforcement officers in the region. Fourteen officers and deputies, including three sergeants and a lieutenant, responded after the first police to arrive reported there was no threat. The motorist Troyer reported was a newspaper carrier who said he didn’t threaten the sheriff and alleged his actions were racially motivated.

Attorneys planned to question seven more potential jurors on Tuesday morning before questioning the jury pool as a group.