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Trial of former Pasco police officer accused of killing Spokane woman in 1986 continues

Richard Aguirre faces first-degree murder charge for 27-year-old Ruby Doss death. He was previously charged with her murder in 2015 but the charges were dropped.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The trial of a former Pasco police officer accused of killing a Spokane woman nearly 35 years ago will continue today.

Richard Aguirre, 56, faces first-degree murder charge for the killing of 27-year-old Ruby Doss in 1986. Aguirre was previously charged with her murder in 2015, but it was dismissed in 2017 due to a lack of evidence.

Court documents show Doss died of strangulation and her body was discovered next to a building of Spokane Moulding Corporation on East Ferry. Her boyfriend at the time said they were homeless and she was supporting them through prostitution, documents say.  

Court documents say investigators believe Doss had a sexual encounter with the Aguirre and an altercation ensued. Detectives believe Doss drew her knife at some point but was disarmed and she ran to the area where her body was later found, documents say.   

As part of the investigation, police found Doss belongings in a manure pit, a steak knife and a used condom, that was sent a DNA lab in 1989. 

In 2001, court documents say investigators submitted that DNA to another lab to develop a DNA profile, but there were no matches at the time.

But back in 2015, a forensic scientist notified investigators that the DNA from the condom found near Doss’ belongings was a match for Aguirre, according to court documents. At the time, Aguirre was also a suspect in an ongoing sexual assault case in Franklin County.

Documents say Aguirre was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base from Jan. 30, 1984 to Jan. 30, 1988. A longtime friend of Aguirre told police Aguirre admitted to him that he “hit a woman in the head” and “choked her.” Aguirre told him when he walked away he thought “she was still moving,” documents say.

When Aguirre was initially confronted with the murder allegation, “Aguirre did not deny killing Doss," according to court records.

In 2017, charges against Aguirre were dropped after it was not found enough evidence to support he was guilty, but in 2020 Aguirre was charged again.

Aguirre's lawyer John Browne told KREM 2 back in 2020 that the, “Certificate of probable cause they filed with the cause number—the 2020 cause number is the exact same Certificate of probable cause they filed in 2015," Browne said. "So if they didn't have evidence to support this case in December of 2017 why do they now?”  

Aguirre's new trial began Monday, Nov. 29 at the Spokane County Superior Court and is expected to continue through December. 

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