Crime

She thought her plan would keep him in prison, but now police say she could join him

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A southwest Washington woman arrested in Bellingham last week is accused of sending herself explicit and violent text message threats, claiming they were from her husband in order to keep him in prison.

Kristy Marie Huffman, 37, of Castle Rock pleaded not guilty Friday in Whatcom County Superior Court to one count of malicious prosecution, a felony. If convicted, Huffman could face up to five years in prison.

Her trial has been tentatively set for June 11.

On Oct. 3, Bellingham Police responded to a harassment report in the 800 block of Home Lane. Huffman told police she had been receiving threatening text messages and phone calls over the last several days and believed her husband, Christopher Huffman, had hired someone to hurt or kill her. Huffman said she thought the messages were a warning, according to court records.

Huffman said her husband was currently incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane for kidnapping and child molestation offenses, and was due to be released soon. Huffman told police she had a violent relationship with her husband, records state.

The text messages on Huffman’s phone were graphic, violent, sexual and threatened death and harm to her and others she knew. One text indicated the author was hired by Huffman’s husband and that they knew each other from prison. The author stated they had been in prison for murder and killing was something they “got off on,” records state.

Huffman said the texts contained personal information only her husband would have known, and that whoever sent them had to have talked with him.

Huffman told police she also received two phone calls, in which the caller told Huffman he would kill her, “slit her throat and break her,” records state.

All the calls and texts came from the same number.

During an investigation, officers determined Huffman’s husband was incarcerated at Airway Heights and was to be released soon. Officers were advised that Huffman’s husband would not have had access to a phone to be able to make the threatening calls or text messages, records state.

Officers determined the phone number associated with the threatening calls and texts belonged to Huffman’s current boyfriend. When asked about the messages, Huffman’s boyfriend denied making threats and told officers he was “computer illiterate,” records state.

When detectives spoke with Huffman, she admitted to sending the texts and making up the story. She told officers she sent the messages through a free texting application from her boyfriend’s phone without his knowledge. She said she wanted to keep her husband in prison for an extended period of time, according to the records.

Jonathan Richardson, the prosecuting attorney handling the case, said he doesn't see many of these types of criminal offenses.

"These types of allegations are pretty rare," Richardson said. "I've only seen a couple in the 10-plus years that I've had come to me."

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt
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