Man sentenced for killing policeman

The Mirror

Jason S. Roberts was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for killing a Federal Way Police officer more than two years ago.

Roberts, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 21 to shooting Patrick Maher in August 2003 during a scuffle between the officer, Roberts and his brother.

The King County prosecuting attorney requested a maximum sentence of 32 years, but Superior Court Judge Michael Fox chose the shorter punishment for the first-degree murder conviction.

Renee Maher, the slain officer's widow, told reporters outside the courtroom that the sentence should have been stiffer and the judge was a "coward."

Other members of Maher's family and Federal Way Police officers attended the sentencing Friday morning.

During the proceedings, Roberts said he could apologize "a thousand times" for killing Patrick Maher but "it won't mean nothing."

On Aug. 2, 2003, Maher was at a convenience store on Pacific Highway South when he witnessed a fight between Roberts and his brother. Family members later told investigators that Roberts had been stealing from them to finance his drug addiction.

Roberts fled the scene. His brother and Maher chased him across the street, where a second scuffle ensued. As Maher was trying to handcuff Roberts, the man reached for the officer's gun. It went off, hitting Maher beneath his body armor. He died later in the day from his wounds.

Maher was the first Federal Way officer killed in the line of duty. He had retired from the Coast Guard and was an officer with the Honolulu, Hawaii Police Department before joining Federal Way.

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