Man accused of escaping from home monitoring

Judge Christon Skinner issued a $25,000 warrant for the arrest of 37-year-old Matthew A. Richards.

An Oak Harbor man is wanted by police after he apparently removed an electronic monitoring device and disappeared, according to court documents.

On June 16, Island County Superior Court Judge Christon Skinner signed an order issuing a $25,000 warrant for the arrest of 37-year-old Matthew A. Richards.

Prosecutor charged Richards with escape in the second degree.

In 2019, Richards pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 45 months in prison. In the case, deputies were looking for Richards on a previous warrant for escaping community custody. They located him with a woman and a fanny pack containing heroin and many small plastic bags, according to court records.

Court documents indicate that Richards has a criminal history that includes burglary and multiple counts of malicious mischief.

Last November, Richards was released from prison as part of the state’s Graduated Reentry Electronic Home Monitoring program. He was transferred to home detention to his girlfriend’s house in Coupeville. Under the program, he was supposed to wear an electronic home monitoring device.

Richards allegedly left the apartment after a landlord said he wasn’t approved to live in there and went to see if he could live with a relative. After that, he disappeared, court records indicate. A community corrections officer checked hospitals and jails in the region but was unable to locate him.