This afternoon there was a case setting hearing for Jeffrey Nelson, who is the first police officer to be charged with murder in Washington state under I-940. Below is a Q-and-A that recaps the events from today’s hearing.

What is the Jeffrey Nelson case?

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a second-degree murder charge and a first-degree assault charge against Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson for the May 2019 shooting death of Jesse Sarey. Nelson is the first police officer charged with murder in King County.

A video statement from King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg is here.

A Q-and-A about the case is here.

A written statement from King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg is here.

What happened at the case setting hearing today?

Today at 1 p.m. there was a case setting hearing. The KCPAO and the defense discussed a proposed case schedule with the judge. The judge agreed to the proposed event dates. Those are outlined below.

Where was the case setting hearing?

It was at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, about 20 miles south of Seattle.

Was Nelson present?

No. Defendants are not required by a judge to be at case setting hearings. That is not unique to this case. Nelson was represented by his defense attorneys, Emma C. Scanlan and Timothy Leary.

What will happen next?

Nelson’s defense attorneys will draft an order that will include a waiver of speedy trial for the judge’s signature. That is the last step in signing off on the proposed schedule that was agreed to at Thursday’s case setting hearing.

Below are dates set by the judge at today’s hearing:

  • Case status conferences: July 15, 2021, September 16, 2021, November 15, 2021.
  • The deadline for filing motions challenging proposed experts and motions re: 404(b): December 20, 2021. Responses are due Dec. 27, 2021 and replies are due Dec. 30, 2021.
  • The motion hearing re: 404(b) and challenges to proposed experts: January 10, 2022 (9 a.m.)
  • Deadline for filing pretrial motions and motions in limine: January 17, 2022. Responses are due January 24, 2022 and replies are due Jan. 28 2022.
  • Omnibus hearing and hearing on pretrial motions; motions in limine; and jury questionnaires: February 3, 2022 (9 a.m.)
  • Witness lists, trial briefs, proposed jury instructions, and verdict forms due; parties to exchange objections proposed revision to transcripts as to form and content: Feb. 14, 2022
  • Pretrial conference; parties exchange exhibit lists with short, general descriptions of items: Feb. 21, 2022 (9 a.m.)
  • Trial: Feb. 28, 2022 (9 a.m.)

Who is the judge in the case?

King County Superior Court Judge Nicole Phelps.

Are the hearings open to the public?

Yes. The trial will be, too.

What is the case number? Where can I look up information on my own?

The King County Superior Court number is 20–1–06432–3. Charging documents filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office are attached.

A blog from King County’s elected Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg.