News

Murder investigation nets two arrests

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

Two people are accused of helping suspected double-murderer John Loring evade police Feb. 21 after he shot and killed 19-year-old David Randle.

 

Tami Michelle Petersen, 40, of Sequim, and Thomas Lee Dale, 38, of Port Angeles, were arrested March 30 on suspicion of rendering criminal assistance.

 

Petersen also is suspected of using one of the murder victims’ debit cards to buy alcohol, cigarettes and other items.

 

After the shooting
In a certification for probable cause, sheriff’s investigators said Loring arrived at Petersen’s Roupe Road residence at 10:20 a.m., just after he fatally shot Randle while trying to force his way into Randle’s home.

Shellie Gillis, Randle’s mother and Loring’s ex-girlfriend, was hiding inside during the confrontation.

 

Loring, suspected of holding Gillis against her will and possessing firearms unlawfully a month before, was prohibited by court order from contacting Gillis or going to her home.

 

Later in the day a second victim, 68-year-old Ray Varney, was discovered dead in his Diamond Point home. Loring was driving Varney’s pickup truck when he shot Randle and when he went to Petersen’s house, according to law enforcement reports.

 

Deputies said a short time after Loring arrived at her home, Petersen received a phone call telling her he was involved in a shooting. An additional phone call around noon informed her that Loring had shot and killed Randle.

 

Petersen told Dale and Loring about the phone call and said Loring had to leave her property, deputies said. She did not report Loring’s location to law enforcement. Deputies did not say when Dale arrived at Petersen’s home.

 

Deputies allege Dale drove Loring to Port Angeles knowing he was a murder suspect and did not attempt to contact law enforcement. The next day the 26-hour manhunt ended when Loring killed himself in a west Port Angeles apartment after a four-hour standoff with police.

Truck moved

After he returned from Port Angeles on Feb. 21, Dale is suspected of helping Petersen move Loring’s stolen pickup truck about three miles south of Petersen’s home, deputies said.

 

The same day, Petersen allegedly used Varney’s debit card and forged his signature at three separate locations to purchase cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol, lottery tickets and food items, deputies said. She spent more than $120, according to the probable cause statement.

 

“Rendering criminal assistance is a Class C Felony in the state of Washington and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office will aggressively pursue anyone who knowingly and with the intent to prevent, hinder or delay the apprehension of a person they know has committed a crime,” said Sheriff’s Detective. Sgt. Lyman Moores. “It is unlawful for anyone to conceal or move physical evidence knowing that it was involved in a crime, with knowledge that moving the object would hinder or delay law enforcement in discovering that same evidence.”

Charges expected

Lead Detectives Jim McLaughlin and Stacy Sampson continued the murder investigation after Loring killed himself Feb. 22, leading to Friday’s arrests.

 

Both Petersen and Dale appeared in Clallam County Superior Court on Monday, where Judge George Wood set bond for Petersen at $25,000 and $35,000 for Dale.

 

Petersen was not listed in custody at the Clallam County jail Tuesday morning.

 

Prosecutors are expected to file charges today, April 4.

 

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.
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