Man allegedly threatened Elma pastor


A 38-year-old Elma man denies threatening to kill an East County pastor and a Grays Harbor deputy during a recent psychological “rampage” involving multiple phone calls and physical confrontations.

Casey D. Irving recently pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony harassment for allegedly threatening to kill Pastor James Owolabi of the First Baptist Church in Elma. Several people reported Irving made bizarre and violent statements over the course of a few days in early April.

Court records stated Irving first approached the pastor April 2 in the church’s parking lot, stopping the pastor to show him several rocks he had piled into the trunk of his car.

“The defendant explained to Pastor Owolabi that he was hearing voices in his head that told him to dig up the rocks,” court records stated. “Pastor Owolabi related that the defendant was dressed in filthy clothes and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Court records stated the pastor suggested Irving might need to seek help from a mental health professional. After a short discussion, the pastor walked into the church.

Irving’s mother reportedly called the pastor two days later to tell him Irving believed he had been “disrespected” by the pastor. Irving himself soon called and allegedly began ranting at the pastor, insulting him and calling him racial slurs.

Two more days later, the pastor reported receiving a voice mail from Irving threatening to kill him and members of his church congregation, court records stated. Irving allegedly left a second message saying the Lord had told him to “eradicate all the nonbelievers and that means you.”

“Pastor Owolabi stated that from the sound of the message it was apparent that the defendant was very angry and explosive,” court records stated.

Irving’s landlord later called the pastor saying Irving was “on a rampage and out of control.” The pastor contacted the Elma Police Department. With the help of the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, authorities contacted Irving at his home.

“The defendant immediately began making threats to the officers,” court records stated.

Irving allegedly continued to threaten to kill and “hang” the pastor as deputies took him into custody, court records stated. During his trip to the jail, Irving allegedly threatened to kill the driving deputy and his wife.

Jail records show Irving remains in the Grays Harbor County Jail on $50,000 bail.