An Oak Harbor real estate agent who was a former council candidate and a volunteer coach for the school district will continue to be be held in jail without bail after he allegedly violated court orders again.
Jerry Oliver, who also goes by the name Gerry Oliver, is facing charges in two felony cases in Island County Superior Court and a gross misdemeanor case in District Court.
On Monday, Seattle attorney Jeffrey Kradel, who represents 43-year-old Oliver, asked Superior Court Judge Carolyn Cliff to set his client’s bail at $5,000. Cliff had ordered that Oliver be held without bail at a previous hearing at which he “lost control,” the judge noted, and started yelling about pedophiles.
Kradel said his client has strong ties to the community and didn’t have any run-ins with the law prior to the recent cases, which stem from a contentious divorce. He also argued that the state constitution forbids defendants in non-capital cases to be held without bail and also that it was unnecessary because Oliver doesn’t represent a risk of flight or a danger to the community.
Island County Deputy Prosecutor David Carman disagreed, arguing that Kradel was wrong about the law and the facts. He detailed the series of charges that were filed against Oliver over the last year, beginning with a fourth-degree assault case. Oliver was accused of assaulting his estranged wife’s boyfriend, and he was ordered not to have contact with her.
In July, Oliver was arrested for allegedly pulling up next to the couple when they were sitting in a parked vehicle, yelling “get out of my car” and making a threat to kill, court documents state.
Prosecutors charged him with felony harassment and violation of a domestic-violence no-contact order. He was again ordered not to contact his estranged wife or her boyfriend.
Oliver posted the $5,000 bail in that case and was released from jail. A judge reduced his bail to $2,500 at a hearing in August.
Then on March 1, Oliver asked that his bail be reduced again. He noted that his estranged wife had been awarded the use of their home in a divorce action; he asked that his bail be reduced so he would have money to find a new place to live.
The court agreed and lowered his bail to $500.
Under the court order, Oliver had to leave the home by 5 p.m. March 9, but he was still there when the woman and her friends arrived at that time, according to court documents.
Carman said Oliver barricaded himself inside the house, refused to leave and threatened to shoot the other people.
At one point in the incident, Oliver stepped outside and his ex-wife went into her house. When he tried to follow her inside, her friends feared for her safety and two of them tackled Oliver, court documents indicate.
When a deputy arrived, Oliver told him he had no intention of leaving his house; the deputy arrested him after reviewing the no-contact order, the deputy’s report states.
A handgun that Oliver allegedly left behind was later found inside the house, the report states. Oliver is prohibited from possessing firearms under a court order.
Prosecutors charged Oliver on March 12 with unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, felony harassment, violation of a domestic-violence court order and violation of an anti-harassment order.
Noting that the defense attorney’s motion suggested that the gun had been planted by others, Carman said Oliver admitted to someone in a recorded jailhouse phone call that he had forgotten about leaving the gun in the house.
Carman said the other attorney was right that a defendant can’t initially be held without bail in a non-capital case, but court rules allow a judge to revoke bail if a defendant violates the conditions of release.
Cliff agreed with Carman and said it would be irresponsible to allow Oliver to be released given his escalating behavior.