Ronald D. Bingham, who was shot to death with his wife at a Lewiston auto body shop on Wednesday, was being investigated for alleged sexual contact with his accused killer’s teenage daughter.
Ray Lutes, the prosecutor in Washington’s Asotin County, confirmed the investigation Thursday after the mother of Luella A. Bingham, the Lewiston shooting’s second victim, said Kenneth D. Arrasmith’s daughter had accused one or both of the Binghams of having sexual contact with her.
Arrasmith, 44, of Sunnyside, Wash., was being held in Clarkston, Wash., on murder charges for the slayings. The Binghams, who were from Clarkston, died of multiple gunshot wounds about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Arrasmith, an Asotin County sheriff’s deputy in the 1970s, turned himself in to Clarkston police shortly after the shootings. The former Genesee restaurant and tavern owner is charged in a fugitive warrant from Idaho with two counts of first-degree murder. He has refused to waive extradition.
Lutes said on Thursday that Bingham, 47, was the subject of an investigation prior to the shootings.
“We are completing it for purposes of completeness and Nez Perce County,” Lutes said.
Luella Bingham’s mother, Rilla Smith of Clarkston, said the shooting “was over Ken’s daughter. … That’s what it was about. But what his reasoning was I don’t know.”
Smith said Arrasmith’s daughter stayed for a few weeks a couple of months ago in the house Smith and the Binghams shared. And Smith acknowledged there were rumors the Binghams were sexually involved with the girl.
“This is what she told her father, and consequently, he thought about it for a week, I guess, and just got mad,” Smith said. “I just can’t imagine (the girl) saying such a thing. Ron and Lu treated her like a daughter, bought her clothes.”
Bingham served a prison term from July 1986 to January 1988 for the seconddegree rape of a 16-year-old baby sitter.
Both Binghams were charged in 1984 with what was described as a “joint act of forcible compulsion.” But Bingham pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in return for charges against his wife being dropped.