Mental health questioned in stabbing case

Evaluation ordered for Sequim woman

PORT ANGELES — A mental health evaluation has been ordered for a Sequim woman accused of trying to stab her neighbor to death in his apartment.

Larisa Jean Dietz, 48, is scheduled to have a competency evaluation in the Clallam County jail prior to her next court hearing Nov. 8.

“Hopefully it will be done by then,” Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said in a Thursday court hearing.

Defense attorney Karen Unger told Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour that she had concerns about her client’s competency.

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

Coughenour signed an order for Dietz to be evaluated by an expert from the state Department of Social and Health Services in the Clallam County jail, where Dietz is being held on $1 million bail.

Dietz is charged in Superior Court with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault. She has not yet been arraigned.

Both charges against Dietz contain deadly weapon enhancements and the special allegation that Ricky Lynn McGowan was a vulnerable victim.

McGowan, who normally uses a walker or a wheelchair to get around, recovered from stab wounds at Harborview Medical Center.

Clallam County Fire District No. 3 personnel found the 58-year-old McGowan lying on his side in a pool of blood when they broke into his Sunbelt Apartments 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.”

An apartment manager said Dietz and McGowan became romantically or sexually involved about six weeks before the stabbing, after Dietz was released from jail on unrelated assault and resisting arrest charges.

Dietz was previously incarcerated for fourth-degree assault with domestic violence, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault for attacking a boyfriend and biting an officer during her arrest July 12, according to the probable cause statement.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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