EVERETT — A Snohomish County sex offender’s rape case was dismissed this month because his accuser left the country with no immediate plans to return, according to court records.
If convicted, it could have been a third strike and life in prison for Lloyd “Casey” McElhiney, 56, who served years behind bars for a murder in Arkansas.
He shot his wife in the head with a .22-caliber pistol in 1987, but she did not die right away, court papers say. He took the injured woman to Oklahoma, shot her again multiple times and cut her throat. He served about 15 years in prison. Afterward, he found a job as a cement worker in Smokey Point.
A girl, 14, reported McElhiney raped her after a short fishing trip on the Snohomish River in 2007. He’d been abusing cocaine at the time. He pleaded guilty to third-degree child rape and second-degree assault. State records show he was released from a Washington prison in late 2017.
A man, then 28, met McElhiney in January 2018, at the Department of Corrections office in Everett.
McElhiney told him he didn’t have many friends and asked if they could hang out sometime. They exchanged phone numbers, according to charging papers.
Weeks later, McElhiney told the man about a job that paid well, and the man was interested in learning more. McElhiney bought him a burger at McDonald’s and they drove to Lowell-Snohomish River Road.
McElhiney made sexual comments. According to the 28-year-old man, McElhiney tried to pull down his pants as he begged to be left alone. They struggled for about two minutes until McElhiney let him out of the truck, according to charging papers.
McElhiney told detectives it was a misunderstanding. In his version of events, he’d expressed his interest, but didn’t want to force the man to do anything — and then the younger man “started freaking out.”
The man got out of the truck, flagged down a car and called 911.
McElhiney’s probation officer called him in for a drug test the next day. It came up positive. He claimed he’d taken meth after the encounter with the man.
Prosecutors charged McElhiney with attempted rape in the second degree.
In court papers, public defender Tiffany Mecca noted the accuser has a history of mental illness and sexual delusions. In past court cases, he had been declared too mentally sick to stand trial.
The man reportedly told police he’d been on his medication that day in March 2018.
The accuser, a longtime resident of Washington, left the country for Costa Rica, deputy prosecutor Lyndi Stone said Friday.
“The state does not know when or if the victim is going to return to the United States to be available to testify,” the prosecutor wrote in a motion to dismiss the case earlier this month.
Charges can be refiled in the future, Stone said.
McElhiney was released March 22 from the Snohomish County Jail. According to the Department of Corrections, he’s still on probation for the previous rape conviction.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.