Armed man accused of threatening to kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal outside her home released from jail

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The man who allegedly threatened to kill the U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07) outside her Seattle home was released from jail.

Seattle police previously arrested the man at 11:25 p.m. on July 9 after Jayapal reported unknown individuals in a vehicle yelling obscenities outside her house in the Arbor Heights neighborhood.

The 56-year-old congresswoman told the dispatcher that her husband may have heard a pellet gun fired. One of her neighbors also told police she heard the man yell, “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you.”

The 48-year-old man, who was found armed with a .40-caliber handgun, was detained in the King County Jail. He was previously ordered by a judge on Monday to be jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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However, Seattle police released the suspect on Wednesday after prosecutors did not file the hate crime charges in time. Police do not have evidence that the man had threatened to kill Jayapal and told her to go back to India, according to King County prosecutors.

Prosecutors are to file criminal charges within 72 hours against an individual in custody. The person detained must be released from jail if charges are not filed within the required time. Prosecutors also cannot file charges unless there is evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual has committed the crime they are accused of.

The investigation is currently ongoing. Prosecutors have not declined to file a case against the man, according to Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. While the man was released from holding, he could still face charges.

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“The recent incident outside Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Seattle home is disturbing and unacceptable. In a time of increased political violence, security concerns against any elected official should be taken seriously, as we are doing here,” McNerthney wrote in an email.

“The suspect’s alleged language and actions, coupled with his possession of a concealed weapon, deserve the full attention of the justice system,” she added. “Presently, the investigation is ongoing and our office is working with police investigators to make sure we understand the full extent of the suspect’s actions to build the strongest case possible.”

Seattle police obtained a temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) on Wednesday to have the man surrender his firearms and concealed pistol license, citing mental health struggles and concerns regarding his behavior toward Jayapal.

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A hearing will be held before a judge within 14 days of the temporary ERPO being issued. The respondent may challenge the issue, and the judge will decide whether to grant or deny a permanent order. A permanent order would restrict the respondent from buying or owning any firearms for a year.

Featured Image via NBC News

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