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Innocent plea in killing of officer

Mirror staff

The man accused of fatally shooting a Federal Way Police officer Aug. 2 was arraigned in King County Superior Court Wednesday.

Jason Scott Roberts, 28, pleaded innocent to charges of first-degree murder and second-degree assault.

A hearing to set a date by which King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng will decide whether to seek the death penalty in an ensuing trial of Roberts will be held next Tuesday.

In the morning of Aug. 2, officer Patrick Maher helped break up a fight between Roberts and his brother near a gas station on South 272nd Street and Pacific Highway South.

Roberts fled and his brother and Maher chased him to a strip mall across the street. During the ensuing struggle, Roberts took Maher’s gun and shot him in the abdomen, prosecutors allege. Maher died that afternoon at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Roberts, who reportedly told police he’d smoked crack cocaine two days before, was disarmed and restrained by his brother until other officers arrived to arrest the suspect.

Roberts initially was held at the Kent Regional Justice Center jail, but later was transferred to a high-security cell at the county jail in Seattle, where he was being held this week without bail.

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