Newspaper carrier takes stand in Pierce County Sheriff trial

Dec 6, 2022, 3:53 PM
newspaper carrier...
Witnesses give testimony in Ed Troyer trial. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)
(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

The newspaper carrier who Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer claimed threatened to kill him took the witness stand in Troyer’s trial Tuesday.

Troyer is accused of false reporting after he told 911 dispatchers the man, later identified as Sedrick Altheimer, threatened to kill him.

Altheimer answered questions from both the prosecution and Troyer’s defense attorney.

He said he saw a white SUV “popping up” multiple times while delivering papers along his route, realizing the person must be following him.

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Altheimer said he eventually approached the SUV and the driver had the window down. He asked the driver, later identified as Troyer, why he was following him.

Altheimer said Troyer didn’t answer or identify himself at the time.

“He just talked down to me like I was just lost, like I didn’t know where I belonged,” Altheimer said in court today. “He accused me of being a porch pirate.”

Altheimer also said Troyer accused him of stealing packages from peoples’ property and that he would call the police. In audio previously played to Pierce County jurors, the sheriff can be heard saying a man threatened to kill him.

A large police presence swarmed the location — the size of which was disputed, with Troyer’s attorney attempting to paint the high-priority alert as an overreaction by dispatchers.

Altheimer said he never threatened Troyer.

“Did you verbally threaten him in any way?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Altheimer replied.

“Did you ever tell him that you were going to take him out or words to that effect?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Altheimer replied.

“Did you ever display a weapon or anything that could be perceived as a weapon?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Altheimer replied.

Troyer later walked back the claim.

Altheimer was stopped by police, but ultimately let go. Altheimer admitted, under cross-examination, he never identified himself as a newspaper carrier.

The trial, now in its second week after an illness delayed the proceedings, saw testimony from six witnesses, the majority being local law enforcement officers.

Leading Troyer’s defense, Attorney Anne Bremner focused her questions toward South Sound 911 dispatcher Leah Heiberg, questioning to see if Heiberg had overreacted during the incident.

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer’s wife will not be on the defense’s witness list, according to KIRO 7.

During testimony, Altheimer said he’s sometimes stopped because he is Black. He told prosecutors he is regularly viewed by private citizens with suspicion when he’s just trying to do his job.

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“They sit in their car and just watch you from a distance, but they won’t talk to you,” Altheimer said. “They’re just watching you. They just pull up and watch you. You drive off, they pull up, and follow you again.”

Altheimer testified that he did return to the sheriff’s house that night to toss a newspaper on his driveway, despite the sheriff not being a newspaper subscriber.

“So I went back to let him know that I was the newspaper delivery person in the neighborhood by throwing the newspaper to his driveway.”

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Newspaper carrier takes stand in Pierce County Sheriff trial