The State Patrol trooper who was shot in the head last weekend in Long Beach is suing the suspected gunman for $3 million and blocking him from liquidating his assets, including a house in Seaview that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
The State Patrol trooper who was shot in the head last weekend in Long Beach is suing the suspected gunman for $3 million and blocking him from liquidating his assets, including a house that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Seattle attorney Jeffrey Campiche filed a civil complaint Thursday in Pacific County Superior Court on behalf of Trooper Scott Johnson. The lawsuit seeks financial compensation for Johnson’s injuries, loss of earning capacity and other damages.
Johnson’s civil complaint, which names both shooting suspect Martin A. Jones and his wife, Susan M. Jones, as defendants, includes a request for a “prejudgment writ of attachment” on the couple’s house in Seaview and any other property they own in Washington.
On Thursday afternoon, a judge authorized the writ of attachment, which precludes the couple from liquidating their assets to pay for attorneys’ fees or other expenses while Jones awaits trial on criminal charges related to the trooper’s shooting.
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The writ puts a freeze on the couple’s assets, including their house, “all bank accounts, all stocks, all vehicles, all retirement accounts and the like,” according to the judge’s order. Susan Jones could petition the court for access to some of her funds if she shows a financial hardship.
According to Pacific County property records, the Joneses’ two-story, oceanfront house is valued at $276,200, nearly $22,000 less than what they paid for it in 2004.
“He nearly died. This is a loss to him,” Campiche said of Johnson. “If this person [Jones] has resources, I want them allocated to the person who was shot.”
Martin Jones, 45, is accused of shooting Johnson twice in the back of the head early Saturday and firing at tow-truck driver George Hill after another trooper arrested Susan Jones on suspicion of drunken driving, according to court documents.
Martin Jones, who is being held in Pacific County Jail on $5 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on two felony charges — first-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault — according to the Pacific County Prosecutor’s Office.
Jones is accused of shooting Johnson while the trooper was making an inventory of items in the van that Jones’ wife had been driving when she was pulled over for speeding about a mile from the couple’s home.
Trooper Jesse Greene took Susan Jones to the Long Beach Police Department for a breath test after she failed a field-sobriety test, according to court documents. Johnson showed up to help Greene, and stayed behind to process the Joneses’ van for impounding.
According to prosecutors, Martin Jones briefly spoke to Johnson and the tow-truck driver, walked away from the scene, then returned and shot Johnson.
Johnson, a decorated, 25-year Patrol veteran, was released from a Portland hospital Monday. But doctors were unable to safely remove bullet fragments that remain lodged in his head, according to the civil complaint.
Susan Jones also was booked into the Pacific County Jail on Tuesday after a bench warrant was issued for her arrest on DUI charges, according to court records. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday and was released from jail after her bail was reduced from $25,000 to $7,500, the records show. She was ordered not to have contact with her husband, according to the court records.
In a news release, Campiche noted that Washington law allows a person who is harmed by another to seek monetary compensation for all injuries, damages and losses.
“This is true even when the offender faces criminal prosecution for violating the state’s laws,” Campiche wrote.
It’s too early to tell if Johnson will be able to return to police work, but he has to give up his side business, a small construction company he owns, Campiche said.
Martin Jones has retained the Aberdeen law firm of Ingram, Zelasko & Goodwin to represent him in the criminal case. One of his defense attorneys, Erik Kupka, did not return a call Thursday.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report