Man sentenced to 25 years for attack, burglary

Brutal attack on 81-year-old left her for dead

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles native who terrorized two west Port Angeles homes, slitting the throat of an 81-year-old woman and attempting to barge into the home of another woman, was sentenced this week to more than 25 years in prison.

Tyler Scott Anderson, 40, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon-vulnerable victim and residential burglary for the daytime crimes on Jan. 3, 2021.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brent Basden sentenced Anderson, a convicted felon and transient, on Monday to 304.5 months, or 25.4 years, the upper end of the standard sentence ranges for the Class A and Class B felonies.

Left for dead

The attempted-murder guilty plea resulted from his attack on an elderly woman, now 82, at about 1 p.m. Jan. 3 at her West 11th Street home, according to a probable cause statement.

Police were alerted after her neighbor called 9-1-1 to report seeing a man walk into the woman’s house screaming and then walking out, slamming the door as he left.

Port Angeles Police Officer JJ Smith found the woman lying on the floor of her bathroom, which someone had kicked open, her throat slit ear-to-ear and a serrated kitchen knife on the floor, according to her arrest report-probable cause statement.

Smith said the woman’s face and head were bruised and her neck was lacerated. She had stopped bleeding.

“I checked for a pulse and could not feel one and did not observe [the woman] breathing,” Smith said in the report.

“I determined that [she] was deceased.”

The front door to the residence was open, Smith said.

About 10 minutes later, Smith was at the front door when she heard a cough from inside the home.

“I stated out loud, ‘I think she just coughed,’ I ran inside of the residence and observed that [the woman] had rolled onto her back and began to actively bleed from her neck laceration. [She] was attempting to breathe and would take large gasps.”

The woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She lost consciousness and received treatment for traumatic neck and brain injuries, and face and head bruises, according to the probable cause statement.

She was released Feb. 15, 2021, almost six weeks after the attack, a hospital spokesperson said Thursday.

According to the woman’s son, at the time of the assault she walked with the aid of a walker or cane, unable to ascend steps without assistance due to a previous injury.

Four victim-impact statements were read Monday at Anderson’s sentencing. None were included in the court file.

The woman’s family did not respond to a request for comment on her condition.

“The one thing that I can tell you from the statements in open court is that [the woman] will never be the same, but that is as far as I’m willing to disclose,” Michele Devlin, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said Thursday in an email.

Police arrested Anderson three blocks from the woman’s home, 16 minutes after the initial call to police.

He had fresh blood on both hands, a significant cut from the top to the inside of his left thumb and the woman’s blood-covered cellphone in his pocket.

Burglary charge

Officers already knew someone had tried forcing their way into someone’s home in the neighborhood earlier that afternoon, about two blocks away from the knife attack, according to the probable cause statement and the prosecuting attorney’s office.

The 20-month sentence for residential burglary stemmed from Anderson following a woman who was walking her dog on West 10th Street to her West 11th Street home, she told Port Angeles police in a written statement.

He refused to stop following her, telling her to give him his dog back. When she reached her front door, he tried preventing her from closing it behind her, she said.

“He had been talking to himself, saying he wanted to tell us something,” she told police.

“She was in fear for her life,” according to the arrest report.

Neighbors’ video surveillance corroborated her account, the report said.

The woman’s husband, who was in another room, heard her screaming and went to the front door, a firearm drawn while telling Anderson to leave, the man told police.

“He refused to stop forcing his way in, so I had to point the weapon at him,” he said.

He was under the influence of methamphetamine when he committed the crimes, the prosecuting attorney’s office said.

Anderson was convicted of second-degree robbery in 2019 and attempt to elude and bail jumping in 2019.

In return for his guilty plea, the prosecuting attorney’s office dropped enhanced charges of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and two counts of misdemeanor harassment.

A Jan. 20 Western State Hospital mental competency assessment concluded he understood the proceedings against him.

Anderson told the evaluator, a licensed psychologist, that he attended Boise State University, was trained as an electrical lineman and until recently was employed on a boat assisting a commercial diver.

Asked about any history of head injuries, he said he did not know but that he may have lost consciousness during a couple of boxing matches. He said he was in chemical dependency treatment a couple of months ago.

“He stated that he believes he was diagnosed with a mental illness, but when asked with what, he did not know and stated ‘I’m not going to guess,’” according to the report.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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