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Originally published Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM

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Everett officer charged in June shooting death

An Everett police officer was charged Monday with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a man who was seated in a car during a confrontation outside a restaurant in June.

Seattle Times staff reporter

An Everett police officer was charged Monday with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a man who was seated in a car during a confrontation outside a restaurant in June.

Officer Troy Meade, 41, is accused of recklessly causing the death of Niles Meservey in the parking lot of the Chuckwagon Inn in North Everett. Meade was responding to a 911 call reporting a drunk customer trying to drive away when he confronted Meservey, then opened fire, according to charging papers filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Meade was not arrested and there are no plans to take him into custody, said Snohomish County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro.

Cavagnaro said Meade is the first Snohomish County law-enforcement officer to be charged criminally for shooting someone while on duty in nearly 25 years.

Meservey's daughter, Tanda Louden, of Holdingford, Minn., filed a civil claim against the city last month. The claim, for $5 million to $15 million, is a precursor to a lawsuit.

"While my family takes some measure of comfort in knowing this man will be held accountable for his actions, nothing the city can do will bring my father back to me and my family," Louden said in a prepared statement.

Meade's lawyer, David Allen, said Monday he had not read a 900-page investigative report that preceded the charges, but he added, "I strongly believe that he acted legally" based on the court filing.

"Officer Meade is a dedicated police officer. He was faced with a very difficult and dangerous situation in which the lives of police and the lives of bystanders were in danger," Allen said.

Meade arrived at the Chuckwagon Inn, in the 6700 block of Evergreen Way, around 11:40 p.m. on June 10 and approached Meservey while the Stanwood man was sitting inside his white Chevrolet Corvette, charging papers said. Everett Officer Steven Klocker heard Meade repeatedly ordering Meservey out of the vehicle.

When Meservey, 51, didn't comply, Meade fired his Taser, charging papers said. Meservey asked the officer, "Why did you do that?" and started up the car, which was boxed in by three police cruisers, charging papers said.

When the Corvette lurched forward, Meade, who was standing several feet behind and to the left of Meservey's vehicle, yelled "Time to end this; enough is enough," and drew his gun, charging papers said.

Meservey was shot seven times in the back, shoulder and wrist, court charging papers said. Detectives found eight bullet casings near the Corvette, charging papers said.

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A witness told investigators Meservey was reciting the Lord's Prayer when he was pulled from the car. He died at the scene.

An autopsy later determined Meservey had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, more than three times the state's legal limit of 0.08. He was not armed, lawyers for his family said.

Meade has been with the Everett police since Jan. 20, 1998, and had never been involved in any other shootings or disciplinary action, said Kate Reardon, a spokeswoman for the city of Everett. Meade was placed on paid leave after the shooting, returned to work for a short time and is now on paid leave again.

Andy Hoyal, a Seattle attorney who is representing Louden and her family, said it wasn't until Monday that they learned the name of the officer who fired the fatal shots.

"We are pleased that the Snohomish County prosecutor has decided to do the right thing," Hoyal said. "This was an extremely egregious situation that had no justification at all."

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

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