Sequim woman rejects plea bargain in attempted murder case

Larisa Jean Dietz has rejected a plea offer to resolve her attempted murder case.

Dietz, 48, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault in connection with the Oct. 8 alleged stabbing of Ricky Lynn McGowan at the Sunbelt Apartments in Sequim.

She had maintained her innocence.

Prosecutors had extended a plea offer to Dietz with a Jan. 10 deadline.

“Ms. Dietz is not interested in the plea offer,” defense attorney Karen Unger said Jan. 10.

Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Michele Devlin noted that Dietz’s March 16 trial is scheduled to commence on the same day as Kallie Ann Letellier’s six-week murder trial.

Letellier is one of three defendants charged with a triple homicide east of Port Angeles in late 2018.

“We can leave it on, assuming something will change,” Devlin said of Dietz’s case.

Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson told Dietz there was a possibility her trial date would change due to attorney scheduling. A status hearing was set for Feb. 21.

Both charges against Dietz contained deadly weapon enhancements and the special allegation that McGowan, 58, was a vulnerable victim.

Sequim police said Dietz stabbed McGowan, who used a walker or a wheelchair to get around, in his apartment.

Clallam County Fire District No. 3 personnel found McGowan lying on his side in a pool of blood when they broke into his unit at about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8.

Dietz, wrapped around McGowan, was trying to jam her hand in his mouth, Sequim police said in the probable cause statement.

A bloody knife was on the floor.

“I opened the door and she attacked me with a knife,” McGowan told police.

“She only got my neck.”

McGowan has since died, Unger said in a Jan. 3 court hearing.

An apartment manager told police that Dietz and McGowan began dating about six weeks prior to the stabbing.

Sequim police said Dietz had a history of paranoia, fear and domestic violence, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

A forensic mental health report dated Nov. 6 found that Dietz had a history of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and bipolar disorder but was competent to stand trial.

“Ms. Dietz does not present with acute signs or symptoms of mental disorder that would significantly interfere with her capacity to understand the proceedings or rationally assist in her defense,” Dr. Barry Ward of the state Office of Forensic Mental Health Services said in his report.

Dietz is being held in the Clallam County jail on $1 million bail.

More in News

Clallam finds 3 COVID cases; new Jefferson County order gives teeth to masking rule

Restaurants, grocery stores and gas-station delis in Jefferson County must comply with… Continue reading

No new COVID-19 cases on peninsula

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported on the North Olympic Peninsula… Continue reading

Legislative races set for November

Three familiar political faces and one new one emerged as leaders in… Continue reading

Ruling again cuts Olympic Medical Center funds

Olympic Medical Center commissioners have learned details of a federal Court of… Continue reading

Fair trade fashion show finds roots in Dungeness

Debut set for Sept. 4 at Impact Fashion online

Colonial Festival continues in adapted fashion

Organizers hope to fully come back in 2021

Sequim staff prepare options for workforce housing development

Planning director anticipates proposals in coming months

Sequim Lions step up for resident’s steps

Despite a worldwide pandemic that shut down their two largest fundraisers of… Continue reading

Olympic Peninsula YMCAs open this week

After a more than fourth-month closure, YMCA facilities on the Olympic Peninsula… Continue reading

Most Read