A Washington state man pleaded guilty to making racist threats against a Democratic statehouse candidate.
Skip Edward Saunders was sentenced to three months in jail for sending Sharlaine LaClair racist and threatening text messages during her campaign for the Washington State House of Representatives, reported the Bellingham Herald.
“Eat sh*t and die you inbred piece of n****r sh*t,” Saunders texted Oct. 23 in his first message to the Democrat.
The 33-year-old Saunders told LaClair, who is a Lummi tribal leader, that he would be voting for Hillary Clinton, but he warned that the statehouse candidate would be “going into an oven” if Donald Trump won, the newspaper reported.
Saunders named and insulted people LaClair knew, including her son, but also identified himself during one message.
“Saunders out!!!” he texted LaClair, and he urged the candidate to check out his Twitter account after she confronted him.
LaClair called police, who arrested Saunders on Oct. 26 on two felony counts of cyberstalking and malicious harassment.
A family friend said Saunders, who is also Native American, is mentally ill like his late mother and has been unable to get the medication he needs without a proper diagnosis.
She said Saunders, who has been unable to hold a regular job, becomes fixated on people and occasionally lashes out with profanity and slurs — especially when he’s drinking or smoking marijuana.
Saunders has been preliminarily diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizo-affective disorder, but family friend Fran Dodson said the overburdened mental health system has been unable to meet his needs.
His arrest got him rejected from a mental health program, which Dodson described as a Catch-22.
“Skip’s story is a story of a system that has no place for somebody like him,” Dodson told the newspaper. “What I see in the future is a continual cycling in and out of jail, getting out, and trying to survive until he screws up again.”
LaClair, who lost her election challenge of incumbent state Rep. Luanne Van Werven, said she hoped Saunders would get the help he needs.
Saunders told the sentencing judge he would stop using social media after his release from jail.
He was ordered to spend two years on probation after serving his sentence for malicious harassment under the state’s hate crimes law.