Freed from hospitalization, defendant accused of approaching victim’s home

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Joshua Brent Stuller

WENATCHEE — Wenatchee police this week arrested a man who spent four years either jailed or hospitalized for threats he made while in the grip of mental illness, after he allegedly stood outside the house of one of his victims.

Police on Tuesday arrested Joshua Brent Stuller, 31, on suspicion of violating a no-contact order against a Wenatchee resident he threatened with violence in 2015. The victim was one of seven people named in written material found in Stuller’s home that year, identified as potential targets for a mass shooting.

Stuller pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in 2016, after months in solitary confinement in the Chelan County Regional Justice Center. Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan ordered him into state psychiatric custody for up to five years, and barred him from approaching any of the seven people he named in his writings until 2020.

Gov. Jay Inslee with Joshua Stuller last May, the month Stuller was released from psychiatric custody. Stuller’s ordeal after his October 2015 arrest helped push an array of mental health bill Inslee signed into law. (Photo: Office of the Governor)

On recommendations from the state Department of Social and Health Services, Allan granted Stuller conditional release in December 2017, and full release from custody last May.

But police say a witness spotted Stuller outside one victim’s home Nov. 15, making obscene gestures, and that he previously walked by the victim’s place of work. Violating a no-contact order is a gross misdemeanor.
Stuller is free on $500 bond, and must appear before a District Court judge Dec. 3.

When Stuller’s family members discovered his writings in 2015, they called a psychiatric help line, whose operators in turn called police. Stuller, diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, said he had no memory of writing the threats. Police found a handgun in his home along with the written material.

Since his plea in 2016, Stuller has been recognized by Gov. Jay Inslee for efforts to reform local jails’ treatment of mentally ill. He was held in solitary confinement for most of his time in the Chelan County jail, and has since launched a federal lawsuit to end the practice.