A federal judge has reprimanded and chastised the special prosecutor pursuing the killer of Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales, but said in an order issued Thursday that he will not dismiss a perjury indictment against a Snohomish County woman the FBI believes has information about the 19-year-old case.
Attorneys for Shawna Reid had asked U.S. District Judge James Robart to dismiss an indictment handed up last year. The indictment alleged Reid lied to a Seattle federal grand jury about statements purportedly made to her by an individual identified in court papers as “Suspect #1” — a man federal agents say bragged to Reid about being involved in Wales’ death.
Reid, 35, had accused government lawyers of misconduct and laying a “perjury trap” for Reid when she testified before a Seattle grand jury in February 2018 about her relationship with “Suspect #1.”
According to the FBI, Reid said in an interview in August 2017 that “Suspect #1” had bragged about having information about the death of a “judge or attorney who lived on top of a hill.”
Wales, a white-collar prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, was shot to death in the basement of his Queen Anne Hill home on Oct. 11, 2001.
However, Reid denied those statements when she testified before the grand jury. Her attorneys say federal prosecutors misrepresented a grant of immunity Reid had been granted in order to compel her testimony and then had her indicted by another grand jury for lying.
Reid has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice in what is the first indictment to be filed in the case, appearing to give momentum to a case that has frustrated the FBI for nearly two decades.
Robart, in his order, said Reid’s attorneys had not presented adequate evidence to show that the prosecutor’s actions prejudiced their client or deprived her of her rights, although the judge took a very dim view of how prosecutors in the case had behaved.
“Although the court is thoroughly unimpressed with the carelessness exhibited by the Government in this case, the court cannot dismiss the indictment against Ms. Reid absent a showing of prejudice,” Robart wrote. “The court reprimands the government.”
Robart, at the behest of Reid’s attorneys, agreed to review the grand jury material leading to Reid’s indictment to ensure no injustice had occurred. He declined to turn that material over to the defense at this time, but left that door open.
Michael Nance, one of Reid’s attorneys, said Thursday night that he was “pleased that the court recognized the government’s misconduct” but disappointed the judge didn’t dismiss the case.
His client, he said, “knows nothing. … The government went fishing for a whale and caught a minnow.”
A telephone call to Steven Clymer, the New York special prosecutor overseeing the Wales investigation, went unanswered. A telephone message seeking comment left with his deputy, Matthew Hoff in Washington, D.C., was not returned.