Richard Aguirre trial: Opening statements begin for trial of former Pasco officer

SPOKANE, Wash.– Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of a former Pasco police officer accused of murdering a sex worker in the 1980s.

Richard Aguirre faces a first-degree murder charge for Ruby Doss’ death in 1986.

On Tuesday, three former officers from the Spokane Police Department took the witness stand.

Photos and videos from the cold foggy night in 1986 were shown in court. Prosecutors also showed pictures of Doss’s lifeless body.

Doss was a sex worker at the time of her murder and she was living at the El Rancho Motel.

“Two people, one dead, one sitting before you, 35 years of waiting for the facts and the law are your tools I ask you you use them,” Spokane County Prosecuting attorney
Stefanie Collins said to fifteen jurors.

In 1989, detectives sent the condom to a lab in New York where DNA was collected. In 2001, the DNA sample was submitted to a lab in Virginia, which was able to create a profile, but there were no matches in the nationwide database.

Aguirre’s prolific defense attorney John Henry Browne argued that the DNA evidence should not be used in court because the condom is missing and there’s no ability to test it.

“If you remember anything from this presentation please remember what I say is not evidence, what the government’s attorney says is not evidence and that the evidence you hear is coming from the witness stand,” Browne said.

Browne also argued that Aguirre was in South Korea at the time of Doss’s death and has the Air Force documents to prove it.

Browne said he believes some of the claims officers made of what happened the night Doss was killed.

“Being that Ms. Doss was in a fight with her customer is accurate. And I believe that the DNA found all over her, which is not Mr. Aguirre’s, was probably from the murderer,” Browne said.

During the investigation, detectives found that Aguirre made statements about his sexual encounter with Doss to others. He claimed that he had sex with her but didn’t kill Doss to others. He also told a longtime friend that he hit a woman over the head and strangled her but that she was alive when he left.

“No one came forward in 1986 to say that they had been involved in the death of Ruby Doss ultimately it was a DNA hit from 2015 that brings the defendant into court today,” Collins said.

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