Sequim man found guilty of assault on Port Angeles police officer; sentencing slated March 18

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PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man is set to be sentenced March 18 after a Clallam County jury convicted him last week of trying to run over a Port Angeles police officer in May and telling a woman with him that day to lie about what happened.

Jacob Kendall Backman, 36, was convicted by a Clallam County jury Thursday of second-degree assault and witness tampering, according to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The jury found the assault charge to be aggravated because the victim was an on-duty police officer, the Prosecutor’s Office said, so Backman faces a possible sentence of 10 years.

Court documents give this account:

Port Angeles Officer Bruce Fernie responded to a report of possible drug activity on East Second Street on May 13.

When Fernie approached a white truck driven by Backman and signaled the vehicle to stop at about
6:40 p.m., Backman quickly accelerated, causing Fernie to run, then push off the truck as it passed to avoid being run over.

Backman wrote a letter from jail to his woman passenger telling her what to testify to, and that she should “remember” a statement differently than what she told police, resulting in the tampering conviction.

The woman said Backman had instructed her to say that Fernie was farther away from the truck than she initially had told police and asked her to say Backman drove “slowly” past the officer.

Backman also told the woman to say Fernie hit the truck with his hand twice while saying “stop,” which she said she did not remember happening, and that Backman had the hood of his dark brown sweatshirt up the whole time, which the woman said he did not.

Backman has previous felony convictions for robbery, drugs, firearms and malicious mischief, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Last modified: March 09. 2014 6:52PM
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