The Washington Supreme Court has restored an attempted murder conviction for a man authorities say shot a state patrol trooper in the head in 2010.
The high court on Thursday overturned a 2013 decision by a state appellate court to vacate the first-degree attempted murder conviction of Martin A. Jones who shot now Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson.
The appellate court said his right to a public trial had been violated, but the Supreme Court disagreed.
“I am committed to keeping dangerous criminals off the streets,” Attorney General Ferguson said. “I am proud of the work our office did to ensure that the defendant must face the consequences of his egregious actions against a law enforcement officer who put his life on the line.”
Jones also argued that his right to be present at all critical stages of his trial had been violated because he was not present at the moment of the jury drawing. The appeals court had rejected this argument, and the Supreme Court ruling agreed, concluding that Jones had waived his right “by failing to raise a timely objection.” Jones did not raise any concerns until after his conviction.
In 2010, authorities say Jones shot Johnson at “point-blank range” while Johnson was impounding the van of Jones’ wife in Long Beach, Pacific County. She had been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Jones was sentenced to 50 years in prison before his appeal.
Johnson, who survived, is now the Pacific County Sheriff.