Shana Hope Soliz, the Hoquiam woman accused of stabbing her roommate Paul Mottinger, 59, to death in late November of 2016, pleaded guilty to second degree murder late last week.
Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office chief criminal deputy Jason Walker said Soliz, 47, will be sentenced Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. in Superior Court.
Soliz faces between 14 years and 22 years in prison, said Walker.
“It’s murder in the second degree with a deadly weapon enhancement that adds two years to her sentence,” said Walker. “The 24 months of the deadly weapon enhancement will be served first, and she cannot earn any early release time for it.”
Soliz used a large hunting knife to stab Mottinger, according to court documents. In fact, according to Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers, she had just been released after serving jail time for stabbing another man with a large hunting knife in the same location just four months earlier. That man survived the stabbing.
Myers said the Soliz case is an example of the shortcomings in state procedures for handling cases involving chronically mentally ill suspects; Soliz was diagnosed as bipolar while a teenager and her family and local authorities had been trying to get her help for many years.
“This case closes an ugly chapter in the legal and mental health system failures in our state,” said Myers. “This is the same suspect who had been detained by our department numerous times under the Involuntary Treatment Act to get mental health assistance, only to be returned to the community for the cycle to start over again. This is the same suspect who had just completed a felony sentence for stabbing a different roommate, to be released only a few weeks before committing this murder. We have turned our jails and prisons into our mental hospitals; is this truly the best we can do in our society?”
After Soliz serves her sentence she will have another three years of community custody, said Walker, the state’s term for supervised probation.
Soliz stabbed Mottinger inside the home they shared in the 300 block of M Street Nov. 21, 2016. Shortly after the 3 p.m. incident, Myers found the victim on the sidewalk outside the home; Mottinger reportedly told the chief, “Shana stabbed me;” the victim died later that day. Meanwhile, Soliz had barricaded herself inside the residence. After a five-hour standoff, authorities entered the residence and placed her under arrest around 8 p.m.
Soliz was charged with first degree murder the next day and held on $500,000 bail. She displayed some bizarre behavior in court and the proceedings were delayed for nearly two years as Soliz split time between the Grays Harbor County Jail and Western State Hospital, where she underwent numerous psychological evaluations before the plea deal was reached Friday.