Espinoza found guilty of felony harassment

Paul Noah Espinoza, 30, of Friday Harbor, was found guilty of felony harassment on Dec. 5 in San Juan County Superior Court.

He was initially charged with a total of six felonies.

Espinoza received a felony charge of harassment to kill on March 7. Court documents state he allegedly threatened a man “and/or” a woman. Espinoza was also charged with allegedly threatening to kill at least one civilian and then, once in custody, allegedly tried to escape and assaulted three San Juan County deputies.

He will be back in court on Monday, Dec. 10 to set a trial date for the remaining assault counts. According to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Teresa Barnett, sentencing will not happen until the remaining counts are resolved.

On March 9, Espinoza was arrested for that charge and, once in custody, allegedly broke out of an interview room by “ripping the door off,” according to Barnett. This led to his charge of escape.

Once out of the holding area, Espinoza allegedly hit Deputy Eric Gardner, tackled and hit Deputy Andy Urbach and hit “and/or” body slammed Undersheriff Brent Johnson, court documents state. Johnson has since retired.

Espinoza was charged with the felony of assaulting a law enforcement officer in the third degree for each of these three alleged offenses. Barnett added that she later amended the final assault charge from the third degree to the second degree because Johnson suffered two broken ribs.

Espinoza was also charged with harassment of a criminal justice participant, another felony, when he allegedly threatened to harm Deputy Scott Brennan.

Assaulting a law enforcement officer in the second degree is a class B felony, said Barnett, and can receive a 10-year maximum sentence. The other charges are class C felonies and can each receive a five-year maximum sentence.

According to court documents, Espinoza’s criminal history includes five separate sentences for assault in the fourth degree.

Hayley Day contributed to this story.