SEPTEMBER 1, 1997
Eastside murder suspect pleads not guilty
by Andrew Walgamott
SEATTLE--A 28-year-old Clearview man pled not-guilty to charges of first and second-degree murder in King County Superior Court last Wednesday.
Prosecutors believe Gary Dean Ackley killed Arlene Jensen, his girlfriend's mother, and Stephanie Dittrick, a childhood friend.
Ackley has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Dittrick's death, and second-degree murder in the death of Jensen.
Jensen disapeared May 26 from her Kingsgate condominium. Her body was found June 21 near Chateau Ste. Michelle. The state crime lab found fibers from a jacket Jensen was known to wear in the back seat of Ackley's 1978 Pontiac Firebird.
Dittrick was last seen at her Redmond home with Ackley July 5 before she vanished as well. Prosecutors claim Ackley admitted slaying Jensen to Dittrick. Her body was discovered August 10 near Skykomish.
The King County Medical Examiner determined both women died of homicidal violence but due to decomposition, could not identify cause of death. If convicted, Ackley would face a minimum of 10 years jail time for Jensen's murder and 20 years for Dittrick's.