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Sirens & Gavels

Murder suspect pleads not guilty to rape

A sex offender suspected of killing a 48-year-old Spokane woman pleaded not guilty to a separate rape case today in Spokane County Superior Court.

Derrick Ross Vargas, 24, remains in Spokane County Jail on $250,000 bond after his arraignment before Judge Sam Cozza.

Family members attended but declined to speak with media.

Vargas (pictured with his lawyer, Kari Reardon) is charged with first-degree rape for allegedly attacking a prostitute in his apartment after picking her up on East Sprague Avenue, near where Evon M. Moore's body was discovered on Aug. 13.

Vargas was released from federal prison on Aug. 2 after serving about four years for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl when he was 19.

Vargas was arrested Sept. 23 after a Washington State Patrol trooper stopped him for driving with a broken taillight and a woman jumped out of the truck and yelled, “He raped me!”, according to police.

Vargas was driving a red early ‘90s Chevrolet pickup, which matches the description of a vehicle caught on surveillance camera early Aug. 13 in the area where Moore’s body was found.

Vargas has not yet been charged in Moore's death.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 29: Sex offender suspected in Evon Moore homicide

Sept. 23: Recently released sex offender arrested for rape

Aug. 15: Slain woman was dedicated student, family says


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