Conditions set for Port Townsend teacher who threatened principal

Charges will be dropped if he can stay out of trouble for two years.

PORT TOWNSEND — Trespassing and harassment charges against a former Port Townsend High School teacher will be dropped if he can stay out of trouble for two years.

If James Keith Miller, 52, of Port Angeles doesn’t go within 1,000 feet of Port Townsend School District property, doesn’t break the law and maintains counseling and medication as recommended, charges from an incident at the high school will be dropped.

“I thought it was a fair resolution,” said his defense attorney, Richard Davies, adding that Miller should do fine with the conditions for getting the charges dropped.

Miller is accused of threatening to kill high school Principal Carrie Ehrhardt during a March 18 breakfast meeting at the Bayview Restaurant.

According to Ehrhardt’s written statement, Miller said she was “the [expletive] reason that I am not able to see my children and I’m going to [expletive] kill you.”

Hours after the meeting, Miller drove to the high school campus — from which he had been banned — entered his former classroom where students were present and was taken into custody by police.

Miller had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to court records.

During a competency evaluation April 7 conducted by representatives from Western State Hospital in Tacoma, Miller said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 20.

The evaluation concluded that Miller has the capacity for both a factual and rational understanding of the charges against him but lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense due to a mental disorder.

He began experiencing breakthrough manic symptoms in December, at which time he stopped taking his medication, according to court documents.

At an April 8 hearing, Miller said an improper medical dosage had been a contributing factor to his actions and that his current prescription was more than 2 years old.

The evaluators said then that if Miller were tried in his current state, he would likely provide irrelevant responses while talking to his attorney or testifying and might “overestimate his chances of prevailing and increase his irritability if his attorney doesn’t meet his (possibly unrealistic) expectations.”

After the evaluation, the court ordered Miller into in-patient psychiatric treatment at Cascade Behavioral Health in Tukwila.

Once that was completed in May, the court placed him on electronic home monitoring through June.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Quilcene schools, Clallam Bay fire district measures passing

Voters in Jefferson and Clallam counties appear to have passed measures for… Continue reading

Tribe seeking funds for hotel

Plans still in works for downtown Port Angeles

Clallam County eyes second set of lodging tax applications

Increase more than doubles support from 2023

Olympic Medical Center reports operating losses

Hospital audit shows $28 million shortfall

Jefferson County joins opioid settlement

Deal with Johnson & Johnson to bring more than $200,000

Ballots due today for elections in Clallam, Jefferson counties

It’s Election Day for voters in Quilcene and Clallam… Continue reading

Jefferson PUD has clean audit for 2022

Jefferson County Public Utility District #1 has received a… Continue reading

Jefferson Transit opens survey on climate action plan

Jefferson Transit Authority will conduct a survey through June… Continue reading

Three volunteers sought for Clallam County Disability Board

The Clallam County Disability Board is seeking volunteers to… Continue reading

Pictured, from left, are Mary Kelso, Jane Marks, Barbara Silva and Linda Cooper.
School donation

The Port Angeles Garden Club donated $800 to the Crescent School in… Continue reading

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles, sit at the bow of a U.S. Coast Guard response boat on display during Saturday’s Healthy Kids Day at the Port Angeles YMCA. The event, hosted by all three Olympic Peninsula YMCA branches, featured children’s activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for physical activity. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain on deck

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners agreed on April 2 to seek a real estate market analysis for Lost Mountain Station 36 after multiple attempts to seek volunteers to keep the station open. They’ll consider selling it and using funds for emergency supplies in the area, and offsetting construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Fire District to seek market analysis for station

Proceeds could help build new building in Carlsborg