Two plead not guilty in Loring case

Sequim Gazette staff

In Clallam County Superior Court on April 6, Tami Petersen and Thomas Dale pleaded not guilty to assisting alleged double murderer John Loring elude police during a manhunt in February.


Clallam County Sheriff’s investigators allege Loring went to Petersen’s house after fatally shooting 19-year-old David Randle on Feb. 21. Investigators believe Dale gave Loring a ride to Port Angeles without notifying police of the suspect’s whereabouts.


Petersen also is charged with theft in the second degree and three counts of forgery for allegedly using a debit card belonging to Loring’s second victim, Ray Varney, to buy alcohol, cigarettes, lotto tickets and other items during the 26-hour manhunt following Randle’s murder.


Varney was found dead in his Diamond Point home the afternoon of Feb. 21 but investigators believe he died as early as Feb. 18. Loring committed suicide during a four-hour standoff with police in Port Angeles on Feb. 22.


Dale and Petersen were arrested on suspicion of rendering criminal assistance March 30 and charged April 4.


At separate April 6 hearings, both pleaded not guilty as charged and received trial dates for June.


Public Defender Harry Gasnik filed motions in both cases requesting Judge S. Brooke Taylor reconsider whether or not there was probable cause for the arrests. Gasnik contested there was no factual basis for the charges. Taylor denied both motions and allowed the cases to continue.


Dale remains in custody at the Clallam County jail in lieu of $35,000 bond. Petersen was released after posting $25,000 bond.


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