Man causing school lockdown pleads guilty on 1 of 31 charges

Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003

A man accused in a 31-count domestic-violence case involving a security lockdown of Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School last year agreed to a guilty plea on one assault charge Thursday.

Robert K. Paulk, 38, entered a plea of guilty in Kenai Superior Court to one count of third-degree assault. He remains in custody at Wildwood Pretrial Facility where he has been held since the Nov. 21 incident.

Sentencing has been set for Dec. 1.

Last year, Alaska State Troopers and Soldotna police were called to the school after a woman dialed 911 from there saying Paulk had threatened her and had held her hostage the night before.

The woman, who was driven to the school by Paulk, reportedly told him she needed to go in to give a note to her children's teacher. Instead, she called police.

Paulk fled, but because authorities did not know where he went, school officials locked down the school for the safety of students. Troopers later said no students were at risk.

Troopers found Paulk at Mile 18.5 of Kalifornsky Beach Road in a vehicle leaving the area.

He was taken to jail and later was indicted on one count of first-degree stalking, two counts of second-degree assault, five counts of third-degree assault, three counts of coercion, one count of third-degree criminal mischief, two counts of fourth-degree assault, one count of interfering with a report of domestic violence, one count of burglary, two counts of criminal trespass, 11 counts of violating a restraining order and two counts of kidnapping.

"We've reached a resolution that's appropriate under the statutes, based on what we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt," assistant district attorney Scot Leaders said on Friday about the plea agreement.

Paulk agreed to be sentenced to five years in jail with all but 14 months suspended plus five years of probation. The actual time to be served in jail will depend on how much credit the Department of Corrections gives Paulk for time already served, Leaders said.

He said the other charges against Paulk were dismissed by the court, but Paulk would not be allowed to dispute the charges during sentencing.

"What that means is that the court can consider the totality of all the charges he was indicted for," Leaders said.

Paulk also agreed to have no contact with the assault victim, and other conditions of his release would be up to the court, the prosecutor said.

Paulk's attorney, Kenneth W. Cole, declined to comment on the agreement.

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