EVERETT — Jurors weren’t convinced the anger-fueled e-mail sent to a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor was harmless.
Instead they decided that James R. Swanson committed a crime when he fired off two messages to a prosecutor in 2009 after the lawyer declined Swanson’s request to file crimin
al charges against his now ex-wife.
Swanson, 48, was convicted Thursday of felony cyberstalking. Jurors also found that the crime was committed in retaliation against a public official performing her duties. That could earn Swanson extra time behind bars.
He also was convicted of cocaine possession. Detectives reported finding cocaine in a desk when they searched Swanson’s Everett house and seized his computer.
Prosecutors alleged that Swanson sent two messages to the deputy prosecutor who was assigned to review an investigation involving Swanson. The attorney declined to file any charges against him.
But Swanson became angry when the deputy prosecutor also declined to charge his estranged wife and her daughter with a crime. He and his wife were in the middle of a bitter divorce, according to testimony.
In one of the e-mails Swanson allegedly wrote, “Remember I am Volatile, Violent and a Loose Cannon! Hahahahahahahaha yea right! No I am cold and calculating.”
Swanson’s attorney, Cassie Trueblood, argued that the messages didn’t constitute a real threat to the prosecutor. Trueblood told jurors that the deputy prosecutor didn’t take any extra safety precautions after receiving the e-mail.
The prosecutor testified Monday that she was concerned that Swanson was dangerous and took the threats seriously.
A Skagit County deputy prosecutor handled the case and a Skagit County judge presided over the trial to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Swanson is scheduled to be sentenced March 24. A judge ordered him held on $100,000 bail.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; email@example.com.