Suspect in Forest Jackson’s death remains in jail; trial not likely for months

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MLT Police DepartmentToby Jamyson Sauceda, 20, was formally arraigned in Snohomish County Superior Court late last week on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Forest Jackson on March 29 in Mountlake Terrace. If convicted, Sauceda would face a sentence of life imprisonment. But due to the serious nature of the charge, a murder trial of Sauceda isn’t expected for months.

Sauceda was arrested by Mountlake Terrace police a little before 2 a.m. on March 29 in the parking lot of the Lakeside Apartments on St. Albion Way. Jackson was found dead from multiple stabbing wounds in his second-story apartment at the complex.

A trial date for Sauceda has been set for June 13, “but I don’t expect the trial to go at that time,” said Bob Langbehn, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.

Murder trials will often have court dates delayed to give attorneys on both sides time to formulate their cases. Other factors may add to the time necessary for both prosecuting and defense attorneys to prepare for the trial: Sauceda is still facing a third-degree assault charge pending from a separate incident in February; also, additional charges against Sauceda may still be coming from events in the 48 hours leading up to the death of Jackson last month.

“The trial date for the previous assault charge is currently set for May 23, though that is not a realistic trial date given his murder charges,” explained Langbehn. “Should it go to trial, it would be handled separately at this point, but obviously I would expect both defense and myself would have that charge in mind when negotiating any kind of deal — not that any has been proposed by either side.”

The assault charge stems from a Feb. 15 incident during which Sauceda allegedly pointed a BB gun replica of a semi-automatic pistol at Mountlake Terrace police officers.

As Mountlake Terrace detectives gather evidence and construct a timeline of Sauceda’s activities during the 48 hours leading up to the time of Jackson’s death, other criminal activity may be surfacing. “Should the murder case go to trial, however, I would be expecting to add several charges,” Langbehn said.

Sauceda remains in custody at the Snohomish County Jail, where he has been since his early morning arrest on March 29, on $1,025,000 bail.

— By Doug Petrowski

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