Admitted stalker sentenced to prison

PORT ANGELES — A former Port Angeles High School honor roll student and Marine was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to stalking a former girlfriend and breaking into her home.

Mason James Coppage, 20, was charged in two cases with 15 domestic-violence-related charges of stalking, burglary and violating protection and anti-harassment orders that occurred over 24 days, according to charging documents.

“I would like to say how sorry I am to everyone I’ve hurt,” Coppage said before he was sentenced Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court.

Coppage could serve less than five months in prison based on time he’s served in the county jail and “good time” he earns in prison, said his lawyer, Stan Myers of Port Angeles.

Plea bargain

As part of Coppage’s plea deal, one case was dismissed and a second reduced to four felonies: stalking in violation of a protection order, burglary, and two counts of violating protection orders, all with domestic-violence enhancements.

Eleven charges in one case grew from incidents that occurred between May 5 and May 27, 2019, while four charges in a second case grew from incidents June 30-July 1, 2019.

The victim, 19, said Coppage’s stalking behavior included following her to her workplace and trying to open the locked door of her car while she was inside it, according to a probable cause statement.

She said Coppage told her during the incident that “if you take away my Second Amendment rights, I know where all your relatives live,” she said in a statement read in court.

Multiple incidents

According to probable cause statements for the two cases, Coppage broke into her home twice, threatening to kill himself with a knife he held to his throat in one break-in and accessing her laptop to unblock himself from her Facebook account in the other illegal entry.

“Every moment I am awake, I am in constant fear,” the woman said in her statement.

Another time he broke into her house, she and two friends found him hiding in her daughter’s bedroom, according to a probable cause statement.

“I no longer feel I can protect my child and myself,” she said.

She said she always double- and triple-checks that her doors and windows are locked.

“You were so obsessed and determined,” she said. “Your obsession was a cancer to my well-being.

“I tried so many times with anti-harassment orders and protection orders with you, and you still somehow thought I wanted to talk things out.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson said that while stalking and domestic violence is “very prevalent,” Coppage’s case was different.

“This was definitely, I believe, on the more serious end of the spectrum.”

Coppage has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression, is on medication, and has been a model inmate at the Clallam County jail since his arrest in July, becoming a jail trustee, Myers said.

He said Coppage received a medical discharge from the Marines after serving six months.

In his own prepared statement, Coppage said he achieved high school academic honors with a 3.7 grade-point average and was a varsity football player and wrestler.

“I am 100 percent accountable for my actions,” he said.

While in the Marines following high school, he became “depressed and suicidal,” he said.

“When I went home, I did not get help for my mental state. My life fell apart.”

Coppage had five jobs in three months and “was going nowhere fast.”

The victim “pushed me over the edge,” he said.

“I couldn’t let that go,” he said of her rejection.

What he did to her “was clearly wrong to do, and I take responsibility for that now,” he said.

“My intentions were not to hurt her or her daughter.”

Coppage has received treatment at Fairfax Behavioral Health Hospital in Kirkland, learning his mental state “was just a matter of faulty wiring,” he said.

Judge Lauren Erickson said she took Coppage’s words to heart before she sentenced him.

“You indicated to me that you never meant to hurt anybody, and it’s not in your nature, and I believe that,” she said.

“It sounds like you just got out of control. It also sounds to me like you need to stay on your medication.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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