Serving Franklin County, WA

Jury can't come to verdict in Aguirre case

Trial reset for March

SPOKANE – A jury was unable to come to a verdict during the trial in which former Pasco police officer 57-year-old Richard Aguirre was accused of killing 27-year-old Ruby Doss in 1986.

A mistrial was granted by Spokane County Superior Judge Maryann Moreno when jury members could not agree on a verdict after nearly 10 hours of deliberations last week. The judge said the defendant will go back on trial in March of 2022 for a first-degree murder charge.

According to records, Doss’ body was found by a passerby in January of 1986 next to a building near what was once Playfair Race Course in east Spokane. Records show footprints at the scene led detectives to a manure pit, where investigators believe a sexual encounter occurred between Doss and her killer. Doss’ coat, wig, and earrings were also found buried in the manure pit records show.

Prosecuting attorneys described Doss as a prostitute and claim a sexual encounter happened as a used condom was found near the victim that was tested and in 2015 the semen contained in the condom was matched to Aguirre’s DNA.

Records show Aguirre was working for the Pasco Police Department and resigned during a separate investigation in which he was accused of raping his niece but was later acquitted by a Franklin County jury. He had provided a DNA sample during this investigation, and in 2015 that sample was matched to the DNA in the condom from 1986.

Reports also show that several of Aguirre’s former co-workers also testified the defendant spoke about having sexual relations with Doss, but conversations indicated she was alive when he had last seen her.

According to records, Aguirre’s attorney John Henry Browne claimed there were other objects at the crime scene that contained DNA not matching Aguirre’s.

The attorney also said Aguirre was deployed to Iraq at the time of the slaying, but prosecuting attorneys said he was at Fairchild Air Force Base for a dental visit.

Aguirre was initially presented with murder charges in 2015, but due to a lack of evidence the more serious charges were dropped. Aguirre was then charged with rape and assault, but a jury was unable to find a verdict in that case as well, and during a second trial for the rape and assault charges.

Aguirre was acquitted of those charges, and in 2020 the initial murder case was re-filed. As the jury was once again undecided in this case, the trial has been reset for March.

— Reporter Matthew O. Stevens can be reached at [email protected].


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