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Wednesday, June 26, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Murder suspect Richard Aguirre accused of witness intimidation

Former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney Scott Johnson Tuesday June 30, 2015 during an omnibus hearing in Franklin County Superior Court for his Pasco rape and assault case.  (Bob Brawdy / The Tri-City Herald)
Former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney Scott Johnson Tuesday June 30, 2015 during an omnibus hearing in Franklin County Superior Court for his Pasco rape and assault case. (Bob Brawdy / The Tri-City Herald)

Investigators say former Pasco police officer and murder suspect Richard Aguirre has made “concerted efforts” in jail phone calls to a friend and one of his sisters to contact a former girlfriend who is now a witness for the prosecution.

The woman told police that she went to Aguirre’s house on April 18, when he told her that police had just searched his house and he was a suspect in the murder of Ruby Doss in Spokane in 1986. A picture of Doss was displayed on his television, which was connected to the internet, as they spoke, according to court documents.

Aguirre reportedly told her that he “had sex with a prostitute and was not proud of it,” according to court documents, but he denied killing Doss. Before the woman left Aguirre’s home he gave her $2,000 and told her he was sorry for how he treated her.

The woman, identified in court documents only by her initials, said she received a Facebook friend request from Lisa Deruyter, Aguirre’s sister.

The woman is mentioned in recorded phone calls made by Aguirre in jail to Deruyter and friend Todd Jones. Aguirre asked both of them to help him find contact information for the woman. During one conversation Aguirre said he didn’t have the woman’s phone number, “otherwise I would be calling her,” according to court documents.

Police say Aguirre knows the woman is likely to be called as a witness and “is continuing his efforts to influence her testimony by either influencing her to testify falsely; to withhold testimony; or to absent herself from such proceedings,” court documents say.

Aguirre appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder, voyeurism and tampering with a witness. His bond was increased to $1.5 million.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Mark Cipolla repeated a previous request that Aquirre have no contact with members of the Pasco Police Department. Cipolla said that three Pasco officers are being interviewed, but did not elaborate on why. No information on the interviews is included in court documents.

Aguirre has asked to be represented by a public defender. His previous attorney was not present in court Wednesday.

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