Maupin Faces Third Trial In Killing Two Previous Convictions Overturned In 1988 Slaying Of 6-Year-Old Girl

TUESDAY, AUG. 20, 1996

Spokane prosecutors are preparing for their next tangle with accused child-killer Thomas Edward Maupin.

This week, Maupin will be driven from the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla to the Spokane County Jail.

For the third time, prosecutors plan to put him on trial for the murder of Tricna Cloy. They expect Maupin to enter a not guilty plea Thursday.

The 6-year-old girl’s body was found in a Spokane gravel quarry several months after her murder in early 1988.

In 1990, a Spokane County jury convicted Maupin of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The state Court of Appeals reversed that conviction in 1992.

Later that year, a second Spokane jury convicted Maupin of the murder. Superior Court Judge Marcus Kelly again imposed the 40-year prison term.

The state Supreme Court overturned the conviction last April, ruling that Kelly prevented a new witness from testifying that he saw Tricna the day after police said Maupin killed her.

Maupin’s new murder trial isn’t expected to start until early next year.

His attorney, Jim Sheehan, said the witness who couldn’t testify last time will be available.

That witness, who does not know Maupin personally, will say he saw Tricna with two men the day after her disappearance, Sheehan said.

That would challenge the prosecution’s theory that Maupin was with the girl and her mother the night of the murder, and that he returned to her home later, abducted and killed her.

After the high court overturned the conviction, prosecutors filed a motion to reconsider. That motion had to be heard before prosecutors could decide to move him back to Spokane for a third trial.

The court refused two weeks ago to reconsider their action, setting the stage for the next round of State vs. Maupin.

“We are mindful of the right of Thomas Edward Maupin to a fair trial on this most serious charge,” the court ruling said. After moving him to the Spokane County Jail, prosecutors will ask that Maupin’s bond be set at $500,000 to ensure he stays put.

Prosecutors say they will rely on the same evidence that helped convict Maupin before. That includes testimony by one of Tricna’s brothers and d evidence collected by a police K-9 unit placing Maupin at the scene of the crime.

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