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State v. Hendrickson

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

October 1, 2013

STATE of Washington, Respondent,
Kathy Ann HENDRICKSON, Appellant.

Page 42

David N. Gasch, Gasch Law Office, Spokane, WA, for Appellant.

James Lyle Nagle, Office of the Pros Attorney, Walla Walla, WA, Teresa Jeanne Chen, Attorney at Law, Pasco, WA, for Respondent.

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[177 Wn.App. 68] ¶ 1 Kathy Ann Hendrickson uses the internet to avenge herself on people she does not like. Her activities led to ten convictions including three counts of cyberstalking, two counts each of threatening to bomb, felony harassment, and intimidating a public servant, and a single count of second degree identity theft. Concluding that a candidate for judicial office is not a public servant and that a threat to bomb must target a location, we reverse three convictions, affirm the remainder, and remand for resentencing.

[177 Wn.App. 69] FACTS

¶ 2 Ms. Hendrickson took her anger out both on a former boyfriend and on her daughter's work supervisor; two judges became the primary victims of the campaign against the supervisor. Although there was some similarity of tactics and a partially overlapping time frame, the two efforts were discrete.

¶ 3 Ms. Hendrickson was convicted in 2006 of stalking a boyfriend, JF, whom she met online. After developing an intimate relationship, JF broke up with Ms. Hendrickson. His life became quite difficult thereafter. Ms. Hendrickson tried to break into his house. A woman who spent the night with JF at his house woke up to find her tires slashed. Another time, JF came home to find his outside water directed into and flooding a crawlspace in his house; he also found the cable to his house cut. He would get strange calls at work and strange harassing e-mails; someone stole his identity. A woman who he communicated with on a dating web site received threatening e-mails purportedly from JF, which caused him legal trouble. Phony dating accounts and e-mail addresses were set up in his name. Ms. Hendrickson was ultimately convicted of stalking JF.

¶ 4 GR met Ms. Hendrickson on an online dating site in 2005 and the pair developed an intimate relationship. After dating seven or eight months, GR decided to break up with Ms. Hendrickson because the relationship " wasn't really going anywhere." Report of Proceedings (RP) at 11. The break up appeared amicable and the couple remained " friends with benefits." Nonetheless, GR's life also became more difficult. He started receiving e-mails, purportedly from JF, that threatened his life. He also received phone calls from a synthesized/masked voice threatening his life. GR's tires were also slashed on three separate occasions. Another time, he came home to find Ms. Hendrickson in his kitchen, uninvited, and believed that she had accessed his personal computer.

[177 Wn.App. 70] ¶ 5 The police started coming to his house with audio recordings of someone purporting to be him trying to solicit sex for money. He was accused twice of being a pedophile. He almost lost his job after a woman who received threatening e-mails from a person purporting to be GR reported the incident to his employer. These allegations resulted in GR being arrested twice, including one arrest at work in front of his coworkers and friends. The charges were eventually dropped after police realized the threatening e-mails were coming from a Walla Walla IP [1] address rather than GR's Oregon IP address. Some of these e-mail accounts had Walla Walla Community College IP addresses.

¶ 6 Another time, GR came home to find the electric utility attempting to shut off his electricity. They had received a false report that he was moving. Similar incidents happened with his cable and Internet providers. Checks that GR wrote started bouncing because his military pension was readdressed to New York without his permission. He also started getting charges from online retailers that he did not authorize. GR had to work diligently to keep these incidents from affecting his credit.

¶ 7 He later got a restraining order against Ms. Hendrickson when he started to suspect that she was the cause of his problems. But, even after getting the protective order, GR would still see Ms. Hendrickson for sexual encounters. After GR moved away to Kentucky in 2008, he continued to have problems. A Facebook page was opened in his name seeking a hit man. An anonymous person also e-mailed his supervisors in Kentucky

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saying that he had harassment charges pending in Washington State, that he had profiles on several casual dating web sites, and that he was under investigation for child molestation.

¶ 8 A search of Ms. Hendrickson's apartment revealed sheets of usernames and passwords belonging to GR, his credit card information, and his Social Security number. [177 Wn.App. 71] This information also included the name and e-mail address of the woman who was purportedly harassed by GR. Police also found some mail in Ms. Hendrickson's apartment addressed to GR.

¶ 9 Ronald Emmons, a forensic document examiner for the Oregon State Crime Lab, testified regarding the identity of a person who filled out credit card applications in GR's name. Mr. Emmons determined that the handwriting on the applications matched Ms. Hendrickson's handwriting.[2]

¶ 10 Emily Banks, supervisor of the Walla Walla Community College computer lab, regularly saw Ms. Hendrickson using the lab. On one occasion Ms. Banks viewed Ms. Hendrickson's terminal remotely and observed that she was on a dating site searching for someone in Kentucky. The police seized the computer shortly thereafter.

¶ 11 Although GR's departure from the state did not end Ms. Hendrickson's interest in his life, it did give her more time to target other people. She turned her attention to her daughter's supervisor at a local retail store, Ms. Diana Duede. In 2008, Judge Richard Wernette, then a municipal judge as well as a practicing lawyer, was involved in an election campaign against Judge John Lohrmann, then also a practicing lawyer, for superior court. On July 31, 2008, Judge Wernette received the following e-mail:

So You Want To Be Elected:

What a joke you have become. You think anyone really wants you to be elected to serve our community. NO. We do not. I will put a stop to all of your rediculous (sic) nonsense. YOU ARE A JOKE! I will see to it you do not become elected. Better check before you leave your home. You never know what is out there to encounter you. Maybe when you start your car, it will go BOOM! Get the hint! Say your prayers. YOU might not see tomorrow.

[177 Wn.App. 72] Diane Duede

Ex. 8. Judge Wernette immediately interpreted it as a threat against his life and against his family; he forwarded ...

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