Convicted murderer accused of sending death threats to Federal Way mayor, police

40-year-old Federal Way man sent series of allegedly threatening emails to city staff, police and an elected official.

A convicted murderer is in jail again after police said he threatened to kill Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, his child and police officers in a series of emails.

Cory G. Charlston, age 40, was arrested at his Federal Way home on Monday after the mayor discovered an email that allegedly targeted him. Charlston, who served 12 years in prison for fatally shooting a 16-year-old boy outside the former SeaTac Mall in 1994 when he was 15, faces charges of three counts of felony harassment, according to probable cause documents. His bail was set at $350,000 and he is being held at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle.

Federal Way police and the U.S. Marshall’s Task Force arrested Charlston at his home on Monday without incident. Charlston admitted to sending numerous emails to various city personnel, and he attempted to explain how the city of Federal Way is conspiring against him. When asked about specific emails containing alarming and threatening language, Charlston claimed he did not remember sending those particular emails.

Charlston’s next court hearing is set for Sept. 12 at the King County Courthouse.

A Sept. 6 email that Charlston sent to King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer and city attorney Ryan Call asked if they would like him to have Ferrell and his child “shot in their faces — point blank — on his misconduct, political …,” according to probable cause documents.

Police said von Reichbauer discovered the email on Monday, Sept. 9, when he forwarded the email to the mayor. Ferrell reported he was in the middle of a meeting when he heard about the email, and he was “so disturbed and in fear for his life” as well as his child’s, that he cancelled the remainder of the meeting and contacted Police Chief Andy Hwang, the documents continue. He also alerted his child’s school so that the administration could take appropriate security measures.

Ferrell declined to comment on the matter.

Probable cause documents also outline numerous other emails that Charlston sent to a Federal Way police commander, including an Aug. 24 email that stated: “I am getting prepared to assassinate all your officers.”

The commander perceived the email as a death threat to himself and every officer at the Federal Way Police Department, the documents continue. The commander said he was aware that Charlston had been convicted of murder, which “greatly concerned him.”

In an Aug. 23 email, Charlston appeared to identify where the police commander lives by describing his property size and general location. Charlston also named one of the commander’s children, according to the documents.

Charlston sent another email to the commander that stated: “If I wanted to hit city hall, punk, it wouldn’t be at 10am, try noon, Rocket Propelled Grenades, punk?-The entire building.”

Charlston began sending the emails in October 2018, after the Safe City board suspended his membership due to his alleged inappropriate comments on the Safe City website. The board also voted to permanently revoke his access to the website, and he was sent a letter that explained this. Shortly after his access was revoked, Charlston sent hundreds of allegedly harassing emails to a resident involved with the program. She said some of the emails were directed at certain police officials and city staff, and others were directed at her, threatening to sue her or press charges against her.

The woman filed a report with the police department in April 2019, after she received an email from Charlston that had an alleged sexual undertone. On Sept. 3, she said Charlston sent her an email that referenced throwing a grenade at her car, which she considered a death threat.


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