Suspect in attack to consider plea deal

Sequim woman charged with second-degree murder attempt

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim woman accused of trying to kill a neighbor she was dating is mulling a plea offer.

Larisa Jean Dietz, 48, will consider accepting the offer before her next court appearance on Friday.

She 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.

“The victim, the alleged victim, has passed away, but apparently the state is not going to charge my client with murder,” defense attorney Karen Unger said in a Friday court hearing.

Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said in an email that “based upon the investigation and the information provided at this time, I am unable to amend the charge to murder.”

No other details were available Friday.

Unger requested a one-week continuance to discuss the plea offer with her client.

Devlin said the offer would remain on the table until Friday.

McGowan told Sequim police that Dietz attacked him with a knife when he opened the door Oct. 8.

Clallam County Fire District No. 3 personnel found McGowan on his side in a pool of blood and fatty tissue when they broke into his apartment, court papers said.

McGowan, who alerted other neighbors by yelling for help, had two deep tissue wounds on both sides of his neck, Sequim Police Detective Devin McBride said in the affidavit for probable cause.

A woman later identified as Dietz had her arm wrapped around McGowan’s neck and upper torso and was “trying to jam her hand in his mouth” when medics arrived, McBride said in the affidavit.

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

McGowan normally uses a walker or a wheelchair to get around, McBride said.

An apartment manager told police that Dietz and McGowan began dating about six weeks prior to the stabbing.

A forensic mental health report dated Nov. 6 found that Dietz is competent to stand trial.

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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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