EVERETT — A Snohomish County jail inmate who made “kill lists” of corrections officers is in a legal battle to get their addresses.
A judge has denied his demands, at least for now.
Gabriel Eckard, 41, has a long history of harassing jail and prison staff, and he has been prolific in his legal filings. In the five years he was at the Monroe Correctional Complex, serving a sentence for several counts of felony harassment, he racked up 338 serious infractions. Eventually he was charged with 45 counts of persistent prison misbehavior and convicted of two. Since 2018, he has filed 33 civil lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Seattle, and so far he has lost most of them.
When Eckard was moved to the Snohomish County Jail in September 2018, he continued his “manipulative, violent, and vengeful behavior” and made threats “too numerous to detail,” prosecutors wrote.
The threats followed a general theme: He reportedly said he would find employees at their homes to assault, rape or kill them and their families. Among the targets of his vitriol were a corrections deputy delivering legal mail and a nurse trying to give him medication.
A deputy director of state prisons wrote in court papers that Eckard kept lists of staff he intended to kill.
In some instances, Eckard said aloud he would use public records requests to find their addresses, prosecutors allege. On Dec. 13, he submitted a request to the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office for the addresses of 68 employees who worked for the county and the Department of Corrections, including the address of a deputy prosecutor who tried him.
The county responded by asking the court for a permanent injunction to prevent release of those records, arguing Eckard had no “legitimate interest” in their disclosure.
According to state law, the court can stop an inmate’s public records request from being fulfilled if the request was made to harass or intimidate an agency or its employees, if it would threaten the security of correctional facilities, if it would threaten the safety of other people, or if it could assist a criminal activity.
Eckard already used a public records request to obtain the full name of every jail employee, charging papers say. After the county fulfilled the request, Eckard referenced the list when he encountered staff and took to calling them by their first names in attempts to undermine their authority, prosecutors wrote.
“Mr. Eckard has repeatedly indicated that it (is) his intent to use County employees personal information to harass and intimidate,” prosecutors wrote. “Although County employees routinely make sacrifices to fulfill their duties, no employee of the County should have to tolerate Mr. Eckard’s harassment or threats to them and their families.”
Superior Court Judge Linda Krese granted a preliminary injunction on Feb. 7, temporarily preventing Eckard from obtaining the employees’ addresses while the case is being heard.
On Feb. 12, Eckard fired off six handwritten civil lawsuits against the county. One claimed corrections staff wouldn’t let him use the law library, and that as a result, he’d lost several of his federal lawsuits.