Breaking News
More () »

Deer Park murder suspect was released to the public after 14 prior felony convictions

With 14 felony convictions, the Deer Park victim's family wonders how Gary Ault was released to the public.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Deer Park murder suspect is facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of Richard Purdy on Dec. 26th. The suspect has a long criminal history, including 14 felony convictions. 

Richard Purdy lived his whole life in Deer Park. 

Aside from his devotion to his family and various community groups, he spent the majority of his career at Kaiser Aluminum.

On December 26th, Spokane County Sheriff's deputies found the 83-year-old dead in his home and noticed signs of a burglary. 

Just hours after the murder, Spokane police arrested Gary Ault for a series of random assaults that included spraying people with bear spray. 

Investigators tied Gary Ault to the murder through DNA found on a knife at the crime scene.

The suspect has 14 felony convictions for theft and burglary charges. KREM 2 has requested more information from the Department of Corrections (DOC).

They say Ault served almost three years in prison and one year in Spokane County Jail.

According to a Washington court of appeals document, Ault escaped a deputy's custody in 2020 as he was being taken to the Spokane County Jail.

According to a Washington court of appeals document, Ault escaped a deputy's custody in 2020 as he was being taken to the Spokane County Jail. 

By August last year, Ault finished serving his sentences and the DOC released him into community supervision.

DOC records indicate Ault was adhering to his terms of release. By the time of his arrest in December, the DOC said he still had nearly eight months left of community supervision.  

Purdy's family is enraged and believes the suspect should've never been released from prison. Purdy's daughter Renee sent a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell looking for justice. She holds lawmakers accountable for what happened to her father.

She wrote, "The system has failed the public when after 14 felonies, some of which were actually violent, are released back into society. I am asking that you investigate this further, to find out how these lawyers and judges can release violent people back into the community without so much as a warning."

Renee hasn't received a response to the letter yet. However, she remains determined to change the criminal justice system to protect other families from the same heartbreak. 

The suspect remains in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial, which Renee and her family plan to attend.

KREM ON SOCIAL MEDIA:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube



ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.

Fire TV: Search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.

To report a typo or grammatical error, please email webspokane@krem.com

Before You Leave, Check This Out