A 49-year-old man from Seattle pleaded guilty in Kings County Superior Court to stalking U.S Representative Pramila Jayapal, reports KING5.
Brett Allen Forsell pleaded to misdemeanor stalking instead of the felony charges that prosecutors initially filed on Thursday. He faces a 364-day sentence at Kings County Jail.
One year ago, Forsell was arrested by Seattle Police in front of Jayapal’s house after being found with a .40-caliber Glock 22 handgun. Police made the arrest with the suspicion that he would commit a hate crime.
According to a probable cause statement, a neighbor reported hearing a voice yelling “go back to India” and “I’m going to kill you.” The neighbor also saw Forsell setting up a tent opposite of Jayapal’s house.
Jayapal was born in Chennai, India and immigrated to the U.S at 16. She became the first Indian American woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016. She has been a representative for Washington’s 7th Congressional District since 2017.
According to charging papers, Jayapal told detectives Forsell’s behavior scared her because it was reminiscent of the anger and vitriol she experienced Jan. 6, 2021, when insurgents attacked the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.
Investigators received footage of two voices yelling obscenities in front of Jayapal’s home that included the word “India” and “kill yourself” but were unable to identify or confirm Forsell’s voice with certainty. The police released Forsell four days later.
Once they found grounds for probable cause, Kings County prosecutors filed felony charges against Forsell. However, he pled “not guilty” to those charges.
In addition to his current sentence, Forsell must receive evaluations for alcohol abuse, substance abuse and mental health, undergo court-ordered cognitive behavior therapy and face a 24-month suspension.
He was also ordered to have no contact with Jayapal and no authority to possess a firearm for eight years.
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