A Graham man accused of posting threatening messages on Gov. Chris Gregoire's website was charged Wednesday with a felony and ordered jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Robert Ray Locke, 51, at his arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court.
Commissioner Patrick Oishi set bail at $500,000 at the request of Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist, who handled Locke’s arraignment.
Lindquist called the threats “violent and disturbing.”
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Locke posted two messages on the governor’s website Tuesday and then filled out an online “event request” form that contained more threatening language, according to charging papers.
One message stated, “I hope you have the opportunity to see one of your family members raped and murdered by a sexual predator.” The second stated, “You should be burned at the stake like any heretic.”
The event request form, requested by “Robb Locke” of the organization Gregoire Must Die, asked for “Gregoire’s public execution,” court records show.
Washington State Patrol detectives used a telephone number and e-mail address provided with the comments to track down Locke about six hours later.
He allegedly admitted posting the comments and told investigators he is mad at Gregoire because in 1999, when she was attorney general, she failed to help him recover some unpaid wages.
He also said he was upset because some state benefits he receives are set to be reduced, according to the charging papers.
Nothing mentioned in the charging documents suggests Locke had taken any action to follow through on the comments.
Locke apologized to investigators and said he intended only to give Gregoire “a piece of my mind,” court records show.
Public defender Lisa Contris asked Oishi to release Locke on his own recognizance. He has no criminal record, Contris said.
“There’s nothing to indicate he won’t appear at his next court date,” she said.
Oishi sided with Lindquist. He also ordered Locke to have “absolutely no contact with the governor, her staff or her family” and to stay at least 1,000 feet away from the state Capitol and the governor’s mansion.