Clarkston, WA

Man Arrested for Holding Crisis Counselor at Knifepoint

Mia Carlson
Asotin County Sheriff's deputies responded to a Clarkston Heights home for a report of a man who held a crisis counselor at knifepoint.Photo byAsotin County Sheriff's Office

CLARKSTON, WA - A 47-year-old Clarkston man was booked into the Asotin County Jail last night on charges of 1st-Degree Kidnapping and 3rd-Degee Assault. According to a Probable Cause Affidavit, Asotin County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 2200 block of South Slope Lane for a report of a man who reportedly held a crisis counselor against her will and threatened her with a knife.

Law enforcement had requested the counselor respond to the home of Christopher Burnette to talk to him about his mental health concerns. It was the second contact with him yesterday, records show.

The counselor told deputies that at first, Burnette appeared "calm and lucid," the court document says. He eventually began talking about his childhood trauma.

"[She] told me Christopher asked her if she believed in [God] and she said she could talk to him about that, but that their beliefs are probably different," the affidavit says. "[She] told me Christopher started gripping his lap top and began flexing and gritting his teeth."

The counselor attempted to de-escalate the situation, but Burnette allegedly grabbed and held her hands. She pulled away and he reportedly began drinking more beer, the affidavit says.

"[She] said Christopher started saying he had nothing to live for and that he wanted to die," according to the affidavit. "[She] told me she asked Christopher if she could step outside and he told her no and grabbed her hands again."

At this point, Burnette allegedly picked up a pocket knife and opened it up, the affidavit says.

"[She] told me she asked Christopher to please put the knife down and that they could stay there and talk and that he had her undivided attention," a deputy says in the affidavit. "[She] told me she tried to [de-escalate] Christopher, in which he then pointed the knife at her and told her that "we had to die". [She] told me Christopher then put the knife to his neck and leaned on it."

Burnette then allegedly grabbed the woman's hand again and told her "they had to die," the court document adds.

"[The counselor] said she asked Christopher to put the knife down again and Christopher leaned into it again," the affidavit says.

Burnette then reportedly passed out with the knife under him so the counselor disarmed him and ran away to call for help, according to the court document.

He was taken into custody and booked into jail at 8:45 p.m. without incident.

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I am old-school journalism - who, what, where, when, why, and how; and "leave your opinion out of it." Decades of experience covering the region of north-central Idaho and southeast Washington State.

Lewiston, ID

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