The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has requested an extreme risk protection order against Rachel Henslee of Friday Harbor. An extreme risk protection order, also known as a “red flag law,” is a gun control method that allows law enforcement or family members to petition the state for the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to themselves or others.
Henslee’s protection order hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. More than 50 pages worth of evidence were submitted to the court in support of the order. According to San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randall Gaylord, the county is seeking to have the protection order in place for a year.
People who receive extreme risk protection orders against them are not entitled to a court-appointed attorney.
On Jan. 16, Sheriff Ron Krebs and the Sheriff’s Office filed the request with San Juan County Superior Court. This is the first time since the law was approved by voters in November 2016 that it has been used in San Juan County. More than 77 percent of county residents voted for the measure.
In court documents, a San Juan County Sheriff’s Detective said Henslee posed a “significant” danger of causing personal injuries to herself or others “in the near future.” He explained that within the last five weeks her behavior has allegedly been showing a pattern of danger.
Confiscated from Henslee, according to court documents, were one pistol, two shotguns and two .22 caliber rifles for which she was given a receipt.
According to the detective, Henslee is an employee of San Juan County and is currently on paid administrative leave. Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring recused herself from the case and Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock has been assigned.
The detective explained that one of Sheriff’s Sergeants received an email from a party outside of the county expressing concern about “significant threats and danger created” by Henslee. According to the detective, Henslee allegedly threatened two people in Oregon with a knife then reportedly pulled a gun on one of the two victims and threatened to shoot them.
The detective’s letter continued, adding that Henslee’s public Instagram account allegedly contained several posts that were “particularly disturbing with strong sexual and violent overtones and criticisms” of Gaylord, Krebs, Loring, and other non-elected county workers. Henslee also has reportedly sent several threatening emails to county employees, according to court documents.
Henslee had filed three tort claims against the county prior to the extreme risk protection order request.