Nov. 17 trial set in fatal shooting at Port Angeles birthday party

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Nov. 17 jury trial date has been set in a fatal shooting May 22 at a birthday party.

Nathaniel Darren Olson, 27, of Sequim is charged with a single count of second-degree murder with an aggravated circumstance in the death of Matthew R. Baker, 25, of Port Angeles.

The trial date was set in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.

A status hearing is planned Oct. 9.

Olson was no longer listed on the Clallam County jail roster Tuesday.

His bail had been lowered from $500,000 to $75,000 after his attorney, Karen Unger, argued for the lower amount Friday.

Conditions set Tuesday for Olson’s release include a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. and being fitted with a device that records whether Olson has been drinking, according to court records.

Baker was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest at a home at 1523 Monroe Road, where a birthday party was in progress, at about 12:40 a.m.

Deputies said they found both Olson and Baker lying on the living room floor.

Baker, who was on his back near the front door, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the home.

Witnesses told deputies that Baker and Olson were alone in the living room.

Jason Holden — who was celebrating his birthday with his twin, Jeremy, at the house owned by his father — said he saw a black pistol next to Olson’s leg after hearing a bang at about midnight.

“Jason asked Nathaniel what happened, and Nathaniel responded by saying, ‘I shot him,’” Sheriff’s Detective Brian Knutson wrote in his report on the incident.

Sgt. Randy Pieper with the Sheriff’s Office found a .45-caliber Sig Sauer 191 model handgun on the dining room table on the second floor of the home.

The handgun was later found to be registered to Olson, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A witness told deputies that Olson had displayed the pistol earlier in the evening May 21.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 10. 2014 6:57PM
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