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Suspect in Kalispell broom attack sentenced in Flathead County District Court

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | January 13, 2023 12:00 AM

A Kalispell woman accused of attacking a relative with a string trimmer in 2021 was back behind bars Thursday after being sentenced on a felony criminal endangerment charge in a separate case involving a broom.

Judge Heidi Ulbricht sentenced Larissa Marie Sunell, 32, to four years, all suspended, with the state Department of Corrections in Flathead County District Court on Jan. 12. Sunell was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff’s Office to await release on court-imposed conditions following the hearing.

Prosecutors initially filed an assault with a weapon charge against Sunell after Kalispell Police officers responded to a report of a disturbance at an Ashley Drive home about 5:21 p.m., Sept. 23. According to court documents, the victim told officers she fled the home after Sunell attacked her with a broom.

The victim said a disagreement between the pair preceded the attack and told investigators that Sunell struck her several times, court documents said. Officers noted “a fresh and obvious injury” to the victim’s head, according to court documents.

When they found Sunell, she smelled of an alcoholic drink, court documents said. Sunell admitted to the attack unprompted, telling officers “I hit her with a [expletive] broom,” according to court documents. She allegedly reported hitting the victim multiple times all over her body.

In November, Sunell signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. In return for pleading guilty to an amended charge of criminal endangerment, prosecutors agreed to recommend a suspended sentence.

During her Jan. 12 sentencing, Sunell also received credit for three days of time served.

The September attack came a little more than seven months after Sunell’s sentencing on a misdemeanor partner or family member assault charge. In that case, Sunell allegedly attacked a relative with a string trimmer on Nov. 11, 2021. The victim told authorities that prior to picking up the grass-cutting tool, Sunell had tossed items out of the home’s second floor window while yelling and screaming.

The victim suffered cuts to her arms and fingers, according to court documents.

When authorities found Sunell, they described her as “intoxicated,” court documents said.

Sunell eventually reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that saw them amend the felony charge to a misdemeanor. On Feb. 9, Sunell received a deferred one-year sentence and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and complete 40 hours of anger management counseling.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.