The woman accused of killing a former Behavioral Health Resources employee in 2013 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder during a Thursday morning appearance in Thurston County Superior Court. She also entered guilty pleas for three counts of second-degree assault and one count of taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission.
Lia Y. Tricomo, a 28-year-old Olympia resident, strangled and slit the throat of her former counselor, John Alkins, after the two had sexual relations at his Sunset Beach Drive home. Tricomo will likely be sentenced in December and she could receive up to 29 years, 9 months in prison.
She has been held in the Thurston County Jail since she was arrested May 1, 2013.
BHR had fired Alkins in December of 2012 after he “violated BHR policies concerning professional boundaries,” but failed to report the termination to the state. In June of 2013, the state Department of Social and Health Services fined BHR $1,000 for failing to report the incident.
The company released a statement from CEO John Masterson on Thursday afternoon. According to the statement, Alkins worked for BHR for 20 years before he was fired.
“John’s murder is a genuine tragedy and those of us that knew him continue to grieve his untimely and unnecessary death,” Masterson wrote.
Tricomo told Thurston County Sheriff’s detectives that she and Alkins had stayed in touch after he was fired, and that she moved into his house April 29, 2013.
Court documents give the following account of the events leading to her arrest:
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Alkins’ death on April 30, 2013, after Tricomo called BHR and told an employee that she had stabbed a man the night before. Deputies arrived at the home, at 3814 Sunset Beach Drive NW, and saw blood smeared throughout the house.
They found Alkins upstairs in the master bedroom, lying face down on the bed with an extension cord wrapped around his neck. A large pool of blood was on the floor next to the bed.
Detectives learned that Tricomo was at Providence St. Peter Hospital.
Tricomo told detectives that after she moved into Alkins’ home, he bought her a bottle of vodka and they began drinking that afternoon. The two began having sexual contact that evening. Tricomo said the contact was unwanted, but she never told Alkins “no.”
The couple moved to the master bedroom, where Tricomo tried to tie Alkins up. He declined, and she slit his throat with a razor. She told detectives that she hid the razor in the room in the hopes of killing Alkins. When asked why, she said he was a creep.
Tricomo said she followed Alkins around the house for several hours, and eventually strangled him with a green extension cord.
She then drank more vodka and went to bed.
The next day, she called BHR to report that she had stabbed someone. She then took Alkins’ car and drove to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in downtown Olympia, where she asked for help. A member of the group drove her to Providence St. Peter Hospital.