EVERETT — An Everett man was sentenced Monday to two months in jail and 240 hours of community service for fleeing the scene after hitting and killing a pedestrian in 2019.
Last month, a jury convicted Jesse Thayer, 39, of a hit-and-run fatality, a nonviolent felony, in the death of Heidi Allen after a trial in Snohomish County Superior Court.
On the evening of May 25, 2019, Everett police checked on Allen, 37, after she fell asleep on a patch of grass near the corner of Colby Avenue and 13th Street, according to court documents. She didn’t seem to need immediate help.
An officer suggested the Mukilteo woman move to a nearby park. She agreed.
Less than three hours later, two people walking their dogs found a woman’s body in the middle of the road, where 13th Street intersected with Grand Avenue, according to charging papers. They called 911.
The Everett officer returned and identified the woman as Allen. She died at the scene. It appeared she had been dragged over 200 feet underneath a car, tearing off her right boot and leaving it in the street, the charges said.
About a week later, an Everett detective was driving through the north Everett neighborhood where Allen died. He found a Ford Fusion parked about a block away from the crash site. The Fusion’s grill was pushed inward, suggesting the car had crashed into something low to the ground at a slow speed. The undercarriage’s dirt and grease had been wiped off in spots, which could happen if a body had been dragged underneath the car.
As the detective inspected the Fusion, the defendant came out of a nearby home. Thayer reported he was the car’s owner. He had heard about the crash with the pedestrian. He told the detective he’d driven home from Legion Memorial Golf Course around 9 pm the night of the crash and driven over what he thought was garbage.
In a recorded police interview, Thayer told investigators he wanted to catch whoever was responsible for killing Allen. He said if he did hit a person, it wasn’t an “alive, moving person,” according to court papers. He reported hearing a thump after running over the garbage he described as a backpack and blanket.
The suspect reportedly denied drinking or smoking marijuana prior to running over the garbage.
A judge signed a search warrant for the Fusion. A blood stain was found on the muffler. A state lab tested the blood and confirmed it matched Allen’s.
Everett police on May 25, 2019, at the scene on Grand Avenue where a woman was dragged and killed by a vehicle whose driver left the scene. (Everett Police Department)
Allen was a mother of two, who were aged 20 and 8 at the time of the crash, an obituary noted.
An artist, she taught her children to draw and studied interior design at Bellevue College, according to the obituary. She made homemade birthday cakes for her kids.
“Heidi loved creating beauty and was beautiful herself, inside and out,” the obituary reads. “… She lit up a room and cheered up those around her, especially when her children needed comfort.”
Under state sentencing guidelines, Thayer faced 31 to 41 months in prison. But at sentencing Monday, his public defender Cassie Trueblood pushed for a first-time offender waiver, meaning he would get a much lower sentence. Noting her client had no prior criminal history, Trueblood requested a 60-day sentence, followed by six months probation and 100 hours of community service.
Trueblood argued a prison sentence would not rehabilitate Thayer.
Deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow pushed for 38 months because the defendant didn’t take responsibility for his actions.
Superior Court Judge Jon Scott sided with the defense, sentencing Thayer to 90 days in jail, with 30 of those days converted to 240 hours of community service. Under state law, eight hours of community service equals one day of jail time.
“I want you to benefit the community in some way,” Scott said.
Citing a possible appeal, Thayer declined to speak at Monday’s sentencing. As the judge handed down the decision, Thayer let out a sigh, and leaned back in his chair.
Jake Goldstein Street: 425-339-3439; [email protected]; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.