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KMHS worker is killed

POULSBO — A mental health worker responding to call from a concerned mother was killed in a violent altercation Friday evening after he called 911 for assistance.

Poulsbo Police Departments officers received the emergency call from the Vikings Crest condominiums shortly before 5:30 p.m. and when they arrived minutes later, they found Marty Smith, 42, of Poulsbo, dead.

Smith, a county designated mental health professional with Kitsap Mental Health Services, was attempting to have Larry William Clark, 33, of Poulsbo, admitted for a mental evaluation because Clark’s mother believed he presented a danger to himself and others.

Clark was formally charged with murder in the first degree in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday and bail was set at $1 million.

After being read his rights after the incident, Clark confessed that he murdered Smith, according to the statement of probable cause filed in Kitsap County Superior Court Monday.

“We received a call at 5:26 p.m. and we had a fairly quick response,” said Poulsbo Police Sgt. Bill Playter Monday morning.

Smith was already deceased when officers arrived on the scene, Playter said.

“This was an isolated incident and the person responsible is in custody,” he said.

Clark was a Level II sex offender, but officers were unaware he was living in the city until the incident, Playter said.

Under Washington state law, law enforcement is only required to give the public notice of Level III sex offenders living in their communities. A search of the state’s sex offender Web site showed Clark is a Level II sex offender with a Viking Crest address.

“He had a history of incidents but not from our department,” Playter said, noting that it is unclear how long Clark had lived in Poulsbo.

The homicide is the first in Poulsbo since 1987 when a murder-suicide took place involving a husband and wife, Playter said.

t Angry outburst

According to the statement of probable cause, Smith had gone to Clark’s residence at the request of Clark’s mother.

Clark’s mother wanted Smith to talk to him about being a possible threat to himself or others and Smith attempted to talk Clark into a voluntary commitment for a mental evaluation, the statement read.

When Clark refused to go voluntarily, Smith called 911 and was requesting assistance to have Clark involuntarily taken for evaluation, it read.

Clark then became enraged, threw him against a glass hutch and beat him with his fists until Smith was in shock and incoherent, it read.

“At that time Clark told Smith he was going to die,” it read. “..(Clark) went into the kitchen obtained a large carving type knife and returned to the dining room where he proceeded to stab Smith repeatedly in the chest.”

Clark was taken into custody outside the apartment immediately thereafter and medic personnel who arrived on the scene pronounced Smith deceased, it read.

t First killed in the line of duty

Smith is the first worker to die in the line of duty since Kitsap Mental Health began its services 27 years ago, explained Rebecca Wilson, KMHS director of community relations.

“Right now our focus is with Marty’s family and our KMHS family,” Wilson said, noting that the outpouring of support from individuals and agencies has been tremendous.

Smith had been a full-time employee since 2004 and was one of about half a dozen workers who responded to calls from law enforcement and families when individuals presented a danger to themselves or others, she said.

“We have guidelines and safety is first, but each individual circumstance is up to the judgment of the individual,” she said.

KMHS already has had a quality assurance process in place for a number of years to review its performance, she said.

t No signs of trouble

Clark gave no signs of potential trouble while he was living at the Viking Crest location, said Laura Harris, association manager for CFA Properties.

“I don’t believe he had been there very long and I believe he was living with his mother who was an owner,” Harris said, noting that units at the property are individually owned.

Harris’ mother purchased a unit and had been living there before he moved in with her, she said.

“We have an on-site manager and it’s a pretty tight community, so everybody’s leaning on each other,” Harris said.

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