A Walla Walla man has apparently been arrested after allegedly threatening the lives of several people, including one family member. Washington police became involved in a standoff with the man on the night of Jan. 5. The 29-year-old is facing felony charges related to this case.
According to police, the man sent threatening text messages to his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The woman reported that she and her ex had a history of domestic disputes, causing both she and her new boyfriend to fear for their lives as a result of the alleged messages. They called the police when the man allegedly texted that he was going to kill both of them and take the children.
The man then allegedly ordered a family member to drive him to the ex girlfriend's home at gunpoint. During this time, he allegedly continued to send threatening messages as the police interviewed both individuals. The man was reportedly stopped by police en route to the home, where the standoff began.
He allegedly refused to comply with police orders, causing one officer on the scene to shoot him with a non-lethal "bean bag" round. Unfortunately, this was ineffective. Approximately two hours after the ordeal began, a negotiator was able to convince the man to surrender, whereupon he was evaluated by a mental health professional and booked into jail on one count of kidnapping and three counts of felony harassment.
The testimony of the mental health professional called to the scene may be relevant concerning any defense offered on the man's behalf in a Washington criminal court. In representing the man, that will need to be taken into consideration as his attorney assesses the circumstances and determines the best approach to contest the felony charges. Whether that may mean negotiating a plea agreement, fighting the charges at trial and/or seeking to raise an affirmative defense as to the man's mental state remains to be seen.
Source: keprtv.com, "Walla Walla man arrested after threatening people's lives, causing police standoff", Sarah Worthington, Jan. 6, 2016