Man who threatened Kitsap commissioners found guilty, released

An East Bremerton man arrested for making threats against Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown was found guilty of harassment and released on the condition that he receive a mental health evaluation and treatment for anger management.

Richard Olan Watson, 49, was convicted of the charges and released on Feb. 12.

He must complete these requirements within 90 days, by May 23.

He had already spent three weeks in jail after being arrested for threatening Brown.

Watson agreed to the conditions of his release, but said later that he did not have the money to get the treatment, and had no means to do so.

“I can pay for these things after I sell my house,” he said.

Aside from the treatment conditions, Watson was served with a no-contact order keeping him outside of the county administration building and away from Brown and Kitsap County Risk Manager Mark Abernathy.

He is allowed into the courthouse, which is adjacent to the administration building.

Photocopies of Watson are placed behind the reception desk at the commmissioner’s office, with personnel alerted to notify the sheriff if he appears.

Watson appeared during the public comment segment of the Kitsap County commissioners’ Jan. 12 meeting, after which he spoke regarding health complaints against the county.

After his arrest on Jan. 21, his remarks were published in the Port Orchard Independent, including portions of a sheriff’s report describing that arrest.

Watson visited the newspaper office after his release, calling the article “lies.” 

According to Watson, events did not occur as they were described by the sheriff.

Watson said that he was in better mental shape after his release, and that he had suffered a stroke while in jail.

He said he was not treated for a stroke.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Claire Bradley disputed Watson’s account, saying, “If he had a stroke in jail, we would have known.”

“I know it was a stroke,” Watson said. “It woke me up. I then snapped out of it, and my brain was clear for the first time in months.”

Watson said he plans to sell his house and move to New Mexico.

Bradley said that Watson is responsible for seeking his own treatment.

If he does not show proof of this within 90 days, he will be called into court to provide a reason why he did not complete the requirement.

If the explanation is not satisfactory Watson could be incarcerated for up to 335 days, which is the remainder of his sentence.

Bradley said that judges are often lenient in granting these exceptions, but that Watson would be called back if he did not volunteer proof of the treatment.

“Revocation actions are not affected by budget cuts,” Bradley said. “We have to do them, but the judge decides how they are enforced.”

Bradley said that several programs exist to help meet these requirements, but the subject must request that help.

This was confirmed by Kitsap Mental Health Services spokesperson Beth Friedman-Darner, who said, “We can treat anyone covered by Medicaid. If they’re not covered we can help them find a program that will treat them.”

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