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 hit and run, a non-violent 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 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 has accepted.
Less than three hours later, two people walking their dogs found the body of a woman in the middle of the road at the intersection of 13th Street and Grand Avenue, according to the charging documents. They called 911.
Everett’s officer returned and identified the woman as Allen. She died at the scene. It appears she was dragged more than 200 feet under a car, ripping off her right boot and leaving her on the street, according to the charges.
About a week later, a detective from Everett was driving to the northern borough of Everett where Allen died. He found a Ford Fusion parked about a block from the crash site. The Fusion’s grille was pushed inward, suggesting the car had crashed into something low on the ground at slow speed. Dirt and grease from the undercarriage had been wiped off in spots, which could happen if a body had been dragged under the car.
As the detective was inspecting the Fusion, the accused emerged from a nearby house. Thayer said he owned the car. He had heard of the accident with the pedestrian. He told the detective that he had returned home from the Legion Memorial Golf Course around 9 p.m. the night of the accident and had driven over what he thought was garbage.
In a recorded interview with police, Thayer told investigators he wanted to catch whoever was responsible for Allen’s murder. He said if he hit anyone, it was not a “living and moving person”, according to court documents. He reported hearing a loud thump after running over rubbish which he described as a backpack and a blanket.
The suspect reportedly denied drinking or smoking marijuana before running over the trash.
A judge signed a search warrant for the Fusion. A bloodstain was found on the exhaust pipe. A state lab tested the blood and confirmed it matched Allen’s.
Allen was a mother of two children, ages 20 and 8 at the time of the accident, according to an obituary.
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 children.
“Heidi loved creating beauty and was beautiful herself, inside and out,” read the obituary. “…She brightened up a room and cheered up those around her, especially when her children needed comfort.”
According to state sentencing guidelines, Thayer faced 31 to 41 months in prison. But at sentencing on Monday, his court-appointed lawyer Cassie Trueblood requested a waiver for the first time, meaning he would get a much lighter sentence. Noting that his client had no criminal history, Trueblood requested a 60-day sentence, followed by six months probation and 100 hours of community service.
Trueblood argued that a prison sentence would not rehabilitate Thayer.
Assistant District Attorney Tobin Darrow pushed for 38 months because the defendant failed to take responsibility for his actions.
Superior Court Judge Jon Scott sided with the defense, sentencing Thayer to 90 days in jail, with 30 days converted to 240 hours of community service. Under state law, eight hours of community service equals one day in jail.
“I want you to benefit the community in some way,” Scott said.
Citing a possible appeal, Thayer declined to speak during Monday’s sentencing. When the judge delivered the decision, Thayer sighed and leaned back in his chair.