Attempted murder trial date set in June

Sequim man pleaded not guilty this month

SEQUIM — A seven-day trial date is set for a Sequim man charged with attempting to kill his neighbor in April.

James Donald Luoma, 66, pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder and first-degree burglary on May 13 via his attorney John Hayden in Clallam County Superior Court.

Luoma, who appeared in court via video, faces up to life in prison.

Judge Brent Basden withheld his bail on May 5 for a propensity for violence, and Judge Simon Barnhart reestablished no-contact orders last Friday between Luoma and his 49-year-old and 90-year-old neighbors.

Another hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. June 3 prior to the tentative seven-day trial starting June 27. Hayden told Barnhart he anticipates the discovery in the case to be extensive.

Luoma was arrested at about 6 p.m. on April 27 by Sequim police in the 700 block of West Heritage Loop inside a manufactured home development after multiple 9-1-1 calls were made.

His 49-year-old neighbor was first seen by police yelling he tried to kill her, and Luoma was found with a gun and his thumb barely attached, according to court documents.

Doctors released him to police custody from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on April 29, Sequim police reported.

The 49-year-old neighbor sought a protection order prior to the shootings at the Clallam County Courthouse, police report, but she didn’t have Luoma’s birth date for the document.

She told police she was friends with Luoma, but he wanted a romantic relationship and she told him she did not and didn’t want to speak to him again, according to court documents.

After returning home from Port Angeles seeking the protection order, police report the neighbor saw Luoma pick up a paving stone and go behind her house.

The neighbor told police Luoma pointed a gun at her when she went outside, fired and missed, and she ran to her 90-year-old neighbor’s house.

Inside the garage, she fought with Luoma and his thumb was shot off in the struggle, and he continued to hit her head into the floor and a fridge, court documents state.

Police arrived right after she escaped the garage, police reported.

In court documents, Luoma said he shot at his neighbor due to having “so much anger” and he felt betrayed after giving her more than $140,000.

Police officers also reported to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that Luoma commented to them he went to his neighbor’s home “out of vengeance,” and after fighting physically in the garage it was a “possibility” he would shoot her.

Sequim detectives also reported Luoma spoke to a neighbor 20 minutes prior to shots being fired who said he told them he was depressed and suicidal, and that, when the woman’s boyfriend left, he planned to confront her and ask for forgiveness.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].