CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Gabriel Putnam on trial

Jury selection is under way for the trial of 40-year-old Gabriel Putnam, the suspected would-be burglar shown on porch video last June trying a Beach Drive door handle while holding a large knife. After he failed to show for a court appearance; a warrant was issued, and he was arrested in October in Idaho and extradited back here. Putnam has been in the King County Jail ever since, in lieu of $25,000 bail; Once a jury is seated, testimony will begin in the courtroom of King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts. He is charged with attempted residential burglary and second-degree burglary. According to various trial-preparation documents in online files, the defense argues that Putnam carried the knife for protection and that the fact he was shown walking away after discovering the door locked (here’s the video) indicates he was not intending to burglarize the house. He was arrested on the property of another Beach Drive home further south; the defense says he was just trying to find somewhere to sleep. Pretrial motions granted by the judge included one to exclude any mention of WSB news coverage, which the defense called “inflammatory, unsubstantiated, and irrelevant.” His trial is expected to last about a week.

11 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Gabriel Putnam on trial"

  • Heartless? March 9, 2020 (4:59 pm)

    No sympathy. And what do you expect the defense to say?  Throw the book at him.

  • Joan March 9, 2020 (5:41 pm)

    He’s either a criminal or has a mental condition. Either way, dangerous to be on the street with a big knife.

  • flimflam March 9, 2020 (5:53 pm)

    oh wow, he didn’t show up for court? i’m shocked.

  • 1994 March 9, 2020 (8:50 pm)

     the defense says he was just trying to find somewhere to sleep…..but why walk around with a giant knife? And who’s house does he think he can sleep in, any with an unlocked door? Very strange thinking. Idaho probably was happy to send him back here.

  • anonyme March 10, 2020 (7:58 am)

    Protect himself from whom?  Victims who might fight back?

  • chemist March 10, 2020 (10:06 am)

    Yikes.  Trying house doors at 4:30 AM with a 10″ kitchen knife.  Later found in another house’s possibly attached poolhouse.  He was released into Day Reporting and then stopped checking in.  Made his way back to Idaho (per June story, likely where family is) before being arrested there (for something?) and then extradited. —— Maybe (as November comment about schizophrenia suggests) he needs some sort of treatment but if he can’t day report I don’t think he can manage his own treatment.  Hopefully he pleads guilty to,  at minimum violating SMC 12A.14.080 B for his unconcealed carry of a dangerous knife (a blade over 3.5″).  He needs a record (which can be referred to as treatment justification) for attempting to enter someone’s house with a weapon due to his illness.

    • wscommuter March 10, 2020 (11:07 am)

      @Chemist … he is being prosecuted by the State (King County Prosecutor’s Office) under WA law (with felonies), not Seattle Municipal Code (misdemeanor).   

  • Alex S. March 10, 2020 (1:59 pm)

    Yet another drifter from the South (Alabama in this case) who is lost in the world and ends up wandering around a city he barely knows – a city that will feed, clothe and house him… without treating the underlying conditions that cause him (and us) a lot of serious problems.  California finally made an attempt to update its civil commitment laws so they can at least TRY to treat (rather than enable) mentally ill substance abusers.  In Washington, where anybody can do anything until they eventually harm or kill somebody,  we are simply spinning our wheels. This guy will keep passing through the revolving door thanks to the clueless compassion of our criminals’ justice system, and a system where mentally ill, strung-out homeless people get to decide whether they need treatment or not.  We’ve created an maintained a system where failure is almost guaranteed.
    Big kudos to the WSB for following up on cases like this 

  • Scubafrog March 10, 2020 (2:04 pm)

    The judge who released him into day reporting should be prosecuted.  A man who goes door-to-door with a kitchen knife, searching for the one that opens is a man with a terrifying pathology.  Of course he didn’t show up for his court appearance.  In a “hey, it’s johnny!” scenario, when someone enters a home unsolicited with a 10″ knife, in a city where most family’s aren’t armed for protection, it’s going to be bad (how would anyone react?).   Attempt to assault considering the weapon would’ve been prudent.  If he’s mentally ill, the defense should clarify that, and he should thus be treated for his mental illness.  It doesn’t sound like they’ve made any gestures toward that end.

    • Jethro Marx March 10, 2020 (2:58 pm)

      You don’t seem to have a grasp of what ‘prosecuted’ means, as there are no charges that could be brought against the judge for carrying out their job. If you disagree with the judge, you are free to work to replace them, but you should probably do that, you know, within the bounds of the law. I’m sure glad none of you lot are on his jury, as you do not seem to see the need for a trial, and chemist is trusting mental health diagnoses by internet commenters, who almost never turn out to have seen the subject in a clinical setting. The defense sounds implausible, and yet they are doing their job. I agree that it appears he’s up to no good, but he committed no crime with the knife, as far as we know. I think you’ll find that it was neither concealed nor brandished.

  • 1994 March 10, 2020 (9:34 pm)

    Keep your doors and windows locked!!! To keep out guys wandering around in the wee hours with 10 inch knives looking for a place to sleep….

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