An Orcas Island man who four months ago held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot himself on the front lawn of his in-laws home was sentenced to a total of 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to a series of criminal charges, including felony stalking.
On Oct. 16, Shannon Jerome LaLiberte, 33, pleaded guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to stalking, a Class C felony, and to violating a no-contact order, to unlawful display of a weapon and to obstructing an officer, all three of which are misdemeanors. He was ordered to serve a total of 180 days in jail and to pay $1,050 in fines and fees.
Considered by the court as a “first-time offender,” LaLiberte qualified for sentencing below the state standard of 6-12 months for stalking because he had no prior felony convictions. He will be allowed to enroll at an in-patient substance-abuse treatment center in lieu of jail, and was credited with the time he had served in jail while awaiting trial following his arrest on Aug. 12.
LaLiberte was taken into custody near the intersection of Crow Valley and West Beach roads following an altercation at his in-laws home with officers and an unsuccessful attempt to flee the scene.
Prior to his arrest, LaLiberte had been accused of repeatedly violating court orders that prohibited him from contacting his wife after the couple split up sometime earlier. His alleged drug use, which, according to court documents, may have included methamphetamine, reportedly prompted the separation.
LaLiberte was arrested following an early-morning standoff outside his in-laws home in which he reportedly held a revolver to his head and threatened to pull the trigger unless he was allowed to talk to his estranged wife, who was elsewhere at that time. That initial confrontation ended when he was invited into the home by his mother-in-law, however, LaLiberte reportedly refused to give up the weapon or leave the home when officers arrived shortly afterward.
According to court documents, he left the weapon behind as he fled the home following a brief altercation with an officer, and was taken into custody a short time later by several deputies who were able to track him down.
Following his arrest, LaLiberte initially pleaded innocent to the felony stalking charge and to seven misdemeanors. Four counts of violating a protection were dismissed at the time he pleaded guilty to the felony offense and the three misdemeanors.