Stanwood ex-teacher loses license due to assault with gun

Paul Erickson, 38, taught at Stanwood Middle School at the time he held his wife hostage in January.

Paul Erickson (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Paul Erickson (Washington State Department of Corrections)

STANWOOD — A Stanwood Middle School teacher’s license to work as an educator has been permanently revoked because he was found guilty of a domestic violence assault with a gun.

Paul Erickson, 38, held his ex-wife at gunpoint two days after their divorce became official in January. They met at Heritage Park to trade off custody of their small child. He told his ex-wife to get in his truck because it was cold, and she did, with the boy beside her. Erickson pointed a pistol at her left knee and threatened to shoot, according to the charges.

“There are three bullets in the chamber,” he told her. “One is for your knee cap so you can feel the pain that I’m feeling, one is for your head and one is for mine.”

He continued to threaten her, then told her he’d been plotting to kill her for six months and that he paid a group of people $15,000 to kill her. He ordered her to follow him to his home on Camano Island, where he forced her to stand in front of a security camera and repeat phrases about how she was horrible and he was wonderful. Afterward he let her go but told her he would kill her and her first husband if she said anything negative about him or his family.

The woman called police around 8 p.m. on Jan. 9.

Erickson told police he did threaten to kill himself, but not his ex-wife. He was arrested for investigation of domestic violence assault in the second degree and domestic violence felony harassment.

He pleaded guilty as charged in late March.

As part of the plea, prosecutors agreed to not charge Erickson with violating a no-contact order for calls from jail, where he reportedly tried to get messages passed on to his ex-wife through relatives in late January; to not charge him with aggravated domestic violence, which was possible because the crimes were committed in the presence of a small child; and to not pursue firearm enhancements on both counts, which would have added years to Erickson’s sentence.

Superior Court Judge Marybeth Dingledy ordered him to serve 12 months in prison, followed by 18 months on probation. Prison records showed, with good conduct behind bars, he was out of the penitentiary by early September. He was required to participate in a state-certified domestic violence program, as well as to undergo a mental health evaluation and to get treatment as recommended by the findings.

Erickson taught science and social studies at Stanwood Middle School. He resigned from his position when the charges came to light.

Before taking the job in Stanwood, he worked at elementary schools near Marysville and Monroe. He began his teaching career in the state in 2009.

The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction revoked his license to teach on Sept. 15, stating he had “demonstrated a lack of good moral character and personal fitness” to be an educator.

Under state law, second-degree assault is a crime that requires mandatory revocation of a teaching license.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

Need help?

You can talk with an advocate any time to sort out how to help someone in an abusive relationship. You can call, chat or text the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Or call Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County’s 24-hour hotline at 425-25-ABUSE (425-252-2873).

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Report of downed hot air balloon turns up farmer’s tarp near Snohomish

Two 911 callers believed they saw a hot air balloon crash, leading to a major search-and-rescue response. It was a false alarm.

A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

Most Read