James Luoma on May 3 in Clallam County Superior Court.

James Luoma on May 3 in Clallam County Superior Court.

No bail set for Sequim man facing attempted murder charge

SEQUIM — A Sequim man is scheduled to enter a plea in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday after he allegedly shot at his neighbor on April 27.

An arraignment hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday in Clallam County Superior Court for James Donald Luoma on charges of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. He faces up to life in prison.

Judge Brent Basden withheld bail for Luoma, 66, on May 5 after previously setting his bail at $5 million.

According to court documents, Basden said he found Luoma to have a propensity for violence and to be of substantial danger to his neighbor, whom he allegedly shot at multiple times.

Contributing factors leading Basden to not offer bail, court documents state, include the neighbor’s attempt to enact a protection order against Luoma earlier in the day, and Luoma allegedly speaking to a neighbor about his intentions.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Steven Johnson asked for no bail on May 2 and Basden set the $5 million bail until Luoma could receive an attorney and his finances were determined.

Johnson said Luoma ambushed his 49-year-old neighbor on April 27 at her Sequim home and fired several pistol rounds at her. He said if Luoma were released, his neighbor, who is deaf, would have a difficult time monitoring her home if Luoma came back.

Luoma was booked on April 29 after he was released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle; he had his thumb shot off.

Attorney Karen Unger represented Luoma on May 2 before Harry Gasnick was appointed on May 3.

According to Sequim police reports, officers were dispatched to the 700 block of West Heritage Loop inside the Hendrickson Heritage Park manufactured home development in the early afternoon of April 27 where a woman told officers Luoma had been coming to her home and touching her and that he was jealous of her having a boyfriend.

Detective Maris Larsen said the woman wasn’t able to complete a protection order earlier in the day with Clallam County because she didn’t know Luoma’s birth date, so she took the application home to complete.

Later that day, officers were sent to the house again after several 9-1-1 calls at 5:52 p.m. They said they found the woman covered in blood saying “he tried to kill me” and “he’s trying to kill me,” according to court documents.

Luoma was found with a pistol and his left thumb barely attached to the hand, court documents report.

He was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. He was discharged from the Seattle hospital and transported to the Clallam County jail the next day.

Luoma told police he shot at the woman because he “had so much anger” and felt betrayed. He said he gave the neighbor more than $140,000, according to court documents.

In one statement to police, he said he went there “out of vengeance,” and after retrieving the gun following a struggle with the neighbor a second time, he said it was a “possibility, yes” he would shoot her.

Court documents say the woman told police she had a friendship with Luoma but that he wanted a romantic relationship while she did not. She said the incident stemmed from her telling Luoma she didn’t love him nor want to speak to him again, police reported.

After returning from the Clallam County Courthouse, and after her boyfriend left, the woman said she saw Luoma pick up a paving stone and go to the back of her house. She went outside and he pointed the gun at her, she told police. She said she begged him not to do it, but he fired and missed, and she ran next door, court documents stated.

Luoma told police he shot in an open space and not at the woman.

Larsen said the two began to fight in the garage of a neighbor who lives between them. She told police he began hitting her and that she threw the gun under a refrigerator.

During the struggle, Luoma’s thumb was shot, police report.

He got the gun again, but the woman grabbed it and fired all of its bullets but one, police said.

Luoma continued to hit her, she told police, including slamming her head into the concrete floor and fridge.

She got away, and that’s when police arrived, according to court documents.

One neighbor told police she spoke to Luoma 20 minutes prior to the incident and he told her he was depressed and suicidal, and that, when the woman’s boyfriend left, he planned to confront her and ask for forgiveness.

The woman sustained bruising around her right eye, Larsen said.

How many shots were fired was not revealed in police reports.

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