Seattle man found not guilty of murder in shooting case

Washington lawyers argued that the man opened fire in self-defense during a gunfight

A jury in King County has found a man not guilty on all counts in connection to a shooting in downtown Seattle that killed one person and injured six others.

The jury of seven men and five women reached their verdicts Thursday after a day of deliberations, finding Marquise Tolbert not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Tanya Jackson, and six counts of first-degree assault, The Seattle Times reported.

Tolbert, 27, was tried separately from his co-defendant, William Tolliver, who is scheduled to go to trial on the same charges in November.

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During Tolbert’s trial, his lawyers presented evidence that Tolbert fired in self-defense and that Seattle police detectives rushed to judgment in deciding Tolbert and Tolliver instigated the gunfight during the evening commute on Jan. 22, 2020.

The bullets that hit all of the victims came from Tolliver and Tolbert’s guns, but defense lawyer Emily Gause said video evidence showed someone had gone inside a McDonald’s to get rival gang member Jamel Jackson, who aggressively confronted the two men and brandished his gun.

A man was found not guilty for killing one person and injuring six others in a Seattle gunfight on Sept. 15, 2022

A man was found not guilty for killing one person and injuring six others in a Seattle gunfight on Sept. 15, 2022

Gause said said testimony at trial showed the lead Seattle detective didn’t analyze all of the video evidence from that night until June — and said it showed "Jamel Jackson came out (of the McDonald’s) and initiated the whole thing."

Based on the shell casings found at the scene, Tolbert fired 10 rounds, Tolliver fired nine and Jackson fired at least five times while on the crowded sidewalk, according to the attorneys.

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Tolbert and Tolliver were arrested together in Las Vegas over a week later.

Jackson, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in August 2021 for his role in the incident, court records show. He was sentenced to 16 months in jail but by that time had already served about 19 months in custody, and was released.

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Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Petersen declined to comment on the jury’s verdicts.