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Casino parking lot attempted carjacking suspect pleads guilty

FERNDALE, Wash. — Jesse Grooms of Arlington, Washington pled guilty to a charge of first degree attempted robbery in Whatcom County Superior Court Thursday, September 17th, according to court documents.

Grooms was accused of approaching and striking a woman who was getting into her car in the Silver Reef Casino parking lot on December 9, 2018. According to an affidavit of probable cause provided by law enforcement and submitted to the court by the prosecutor, the woman turned around and found herself facing a man she did not know standing about 2 inches from her. He demanded she give him her car, grabbing her hand and keys. The woman struggled with the man during which time he was reported to have said, “I’m going to shoot you. I will shoot you.” The woman pushed the man and broke free but fell down in the process. The man reached into his coat pocket, which led the woman to presume he was going to shoot her and she ran back to the casino for help.

Grooms, age 25 at the time, was identified as the suspect after casino surveillance video showed him signing up for casino services and his driver’s license was recorded in the process. The photo on the license looked like the man seen attacking the woman in the parking lot.

Grooms was arrested in Snohomish County on an unrelated warrant on January 14, 2019 and transported to the Whatcom County Jail January 24, 2019. He pled guilty and was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court last month to felony charges of second degree theft, burglary and assault and first degree robbery and trafficking stolen property.

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Superior Court Judge David Freeman accepted Grooms’ guilty plea and sentenced him to 81 months in custody, from the standard range of 81 to 108 months, to be served concurrently with the the Snohomish County sentences. Grooms is also to have no contact with the victim.

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