BELLINGHAM - A 21-year-old mentally ill man was sentenced Thursday, Nov. 29, to more than a year in prison for threatening to murder a Whatcom County Jail corrections deputy and his family.
John N. Michaelson of Bellingham was booked into jail and put in isolation May 28 after he was accused of shoplifting video game equipment from a Bellingham business. As he was being booked, Michaelson threatened to hurt a specific deputy if he saw him on the street, according to court records.
Three days later, he threw his dinner around a cell and refused to return his meal tray. He got "extremely upset" when the deputy gave him a sack lunch to eat instead, according to court records. The deputy tried to calm him down. That's when Michaelson threatened to kill him.
If I see you outside of jail, he said, "I will shoot you in the head and kill your family."
He also said he would force the deputy to watch while he raped his wife.
A week later, as the deputy was bringing food, Michaelson threw a spoon at the deputy's chest.
"That's for being a snitch," Michaelson declared.
He was convicted Thursday, Nov. 29, of felony harassment and assault in the third degree, a felony, for throwing the spoon. Superior Court Judge Chuck Snyder ordered him to serve a year and three months in prison.
According to court records, Michaelson has a well-documented history of mental health issues, exacerbated by heavy use of cannabis, opiates, cocaine and LSD.
His criminal history includes felony assault and harassment convictions. In one of the more recent cases, he tried to choke a family friend with a belt.