OLYMPIA - A Thurston County Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in Jeremiah Galloway's first-degree robbery trial Tuesday, after a prosecutor learned that Galloway may have contacted a material witness and told him not to testify.
Galloway, 21, was charged with one count of first-degree robbery in October, after he allegedly “pummeled” a man and stole his wallet after the alleged victim had accepted a ride home from an Olympia bar from a group that included Galloway, court papers state.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Bruneau said Tuesday that he obtained a recording of Galloway’s December visit and phone conversation with a material witness when the witness was an inmate at the Thurston County Jail. On the recording, Galloway asked the witness not to show up at trial to testify.
After hearing the recording, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor granted Bruneau’s motion for a mistrial, according to the minutes of the trial testimony obtained by The Olympian. “Court found there was a manifest injustice,” read the minutes taken during the trial on Tuesday.
Galloway, who has prior convictions for second-degree robbery, residential burglary and second-degree theft, was taken into custody at the conclusion of Tuesday’s trial, and his bail was raised to $250,000. Tabor also granted Bruneau’s motion to revoke Galloway’s telephone privileges, except for calls to his attorney.
It was unclear Tuesday whether Galloway will now face an additional charge of witness tampering. Investigating detectives with the Olympia Police Department could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Tampering with a witness is a class C felony, carrying a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Bruneau said Tuesday that Galloway’s trial has been continued to March 23.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465