Sequim woman rejects plea bargain in attempted murder case

Dietz charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault

PORT ANGELES — 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 Friday deadline.

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

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.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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