An 18-year-old Kettle Falls High School senior has been sentenced to a year in jail for potentially lethal attacks he made after stalking a 15-year-old girl for months.
Aaron King allegedly attempted to kill another girl, whom he blamed for thwarting his obsessive six-month effort to woo the 15-year-old.
The girl, who asked not to be identified, said King chased her, took pictures of her while she wasn’t looking, slept with one of her T-shirts and threatened to kill himself if he wouldn’t date her. When a shower of presents failed, he resorted to obscene notes and crude remarks, she said.
Eventually, King became convinced that the girl’s friend, Susan Bradley, had persuaded the girl not to date him. So he launched a campaign of violence against Bradley and her family that included bombs, bullets and sabotage.
Stevens County Deputy Prosecutor David Soukup said King started by asking other teenagers to kill Bradley or to give him a gun. King attempted unsuccessfully to bomb the Bradley family’s car. He cut the car’s brake line with a hacksaw, and he fired shots into the car while it was parked next to the home, Soukup charged.
King accepted a plea bargain last week in which he didn’t admit to all the crimes he is accused of, but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him.
Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson called King’s conduct “very scary” and added three months to the nine-month sentence recommended in the plea agreement.
The jail time was for one count of attempted first-degree arson and one count of second-degree assault.
The attempted-arson charge resulted from King’s plan to place a bomb in the Bradley family car’s fuel tank, timed to go off when Bradley would be in the vehicle. Soukup said other teenagers would have testified that King blamed a locking gasoline cap for foiling the plot.
Soukup said the second-degree assault conviction resulted from King’s use of a hacksaw to cut the brake line of the Bradley car. Bradley’s mother, Melissa, discovered she had no brakes before leaving her driveway on Dec. 2.
King also admitted firing six shots into the car about a week later. He was convicted of one count of third-degree malicious mischief for shooting the car, and of another count for slashing the tires of a Kettle Falls police officer who gave him a traffic ticket.
Kristianson suspended a one-year sentence for the two misdemeanor malicious mischief charges on condition that King complete psychological and drug or alcohol treatment after he gets out of jail. King was given credit for time already served, and is to be released Aug. 29.
Soukup said if the case had gone to trial, King also would have been charged with shooting the Bradley family dog. King didn’t admit shooting the dog, but agreed to pay restitution for the veterinary bill. The dog survived.
A hearing is scheduled April 29 to determine other restitution. Soukup said most of King’s remaining financial responsibility is for a Colville building that was damaged when the brakeless Bradley car rolled into it. The accident occurred when the car was towed for repairs.