'Man in Tree' gets 2 years probation through Regional Mental Health Court; felonies dismissed

SEATTLE -- A man who spent nearly 25 hours atop an 80-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle last spring will be on probation for two years through King County's Regional Mental Health Court, the county prosecutor's office announced Monday.

The defendant, Cody Lee Miller, 29, was charged last Friday in the Regional Mental Health Court with misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief.

The prosecutor's office said Miller will remain on a two-year stipulated order of continuance, and if he complies with all of the conditions imposed by Regional Mental Health Court, the charges will be dismissed.

He is required to comply with mental health treatment and daily medication monitoring,  the prosecutor's office said.

“The Regional Mental Health Court is the right outcome for this case, and many other individuals like him,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. “The special expertise of the court staff, and mental health resources available will provide supervised treatment and support to help him live a healthier life and to protect public safety,” he added.

Miller climbed the giant sequoia on March 22 and ignored police efforts to coax him down, throwing branches and apples at first responders and passersby, before climbing down more than a day later. The drama sparked interest from national TV networks and on social media, with new Twitter accounts and the hashtag #ManInTree trending.

Miller was originally charged in March with felony charges of Malicious Mischief in the First Degree and Assault in the Third Degree and was later found not competent to stand trial and was sent to Western State Hospital for examination. Felony charges were dismissed as part of the resolution reached in Regional Mental Health Court.