Charges reduced for man accused in summer standoff

PORT ANGELES — Concerns over evidence forced the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to eliminate four of five charges Tuesday against a Port Angeles man involved in a three-hour standoff with law enforcement authorities July 29.

Arthur Coulon Jr., 41, was scheduled for trial Monday on two counts of harassment-threats to kill, robbery, first-degree illegal possession of a firearm and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

At the request of Steven Johnson, deputy prosecuting attorney, Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour on Tuesday reduced the counts to an enhanced charge of attempting to elude that could net Coulon 3¼ years in prison under the standard sentence range.

Coulon’s trial was reset to Dec. 2 at the request of his attorney, Karen Unger.

Status hearings are set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 21.

“I’m hoping this will lead to more productive discussions to resolve this case,” Unger said.

Johnson submitted a request Oct. 22 to amend the charges.

“There were significant evidentiary issues regarding Counts 1 through 4, so the state is moving to dismiss those counts, or amending the information dismissing those four counts and changing Count 5 to special allegations that one or more persons were endangered by Mr. Coulon’s reckless conduct,” he told Coughenour.

Johnson would not comment later Tuesday on the evidentiary issues that led to his request to reduce the charges.

Coulon remained in the county jail Tuesday without bail on a state Department of Corrections community custody warrant on which he told Coughenour he will be released by Friday.

Two court orders remain in effect against Coulon prohibiting him from having contact with two women ages 22 and 25 at the time of the incident, one of whom Coulon allegedly robbed of $100 the evening of the incident.

The 25-year-old told authorities that Coulon knows her mother.

Coulon started to address Coughenour about the two women, saying, “They both tried to …” before Coughenour cut him off.

“I don’t want anything to do with those two,” Coulon assured Coughenour.

Coulon allegedly robbed one of the women in his car at about 6:30 p.m. July 29, pulling a silver gun out “like a gun a cop would have” and placing it in his lap while pointed toward her.

The car was parked off U.S. Highway 101 near Mount Pleasant Road.

Coulon “told her to give him all her money,” according to the probable cause statement.

Coulon allegedly told the woman to get out of his car slowly and go back to her car before he took off.

The women followed him, calling police, who later gave chase. During the chase, he allegedly pointed the gun at them.

Authorities chased Coulon to his home in the 800 block of Mount Pleasant Road, on property where his girlfriend lives.

Coulon refused to exit his residence for three hours.

“At about that time, Arthur’s girlfriend approached Arthur and asked him what happened,” according to the statement.

“Arthur made the statement, ‘I tried to get us money so we could get out of here,’ ” according to the statement.

“The state is not going to be seeking to admit that statement at trial,” Johnson said.

“We will still have this case on for trial on Dec. 2, and when you appear on the 21st, we’ll find out if you’re even needed to go to trial,” Coughenour said.

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