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Trial will go ahead for ex-Pasco police officer charged with killing prostitute

The ex-Pasco police officer accused of killing a Spokane prostitute in 1986 will proceed to trial after a judge ruled Friday against his attorney’s motion to drop charges.

Richard Aguirre was charged last summer with killing Ruby Doss after a DNA sample he gave for an unrelated case matched a sample taken from a condom found near Doss’ body.

Aguirre’s attorney, John Henry Browne, asked the judge to dismiss the charge on March 11, saying military records proved his client was in South Korea at the time of Doss’ murder. Doss was found dead on January 30, 1986.

Browne attacked Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s assertion that Aguirre arrived in South Korea in late February, saying the only supporting evidence for that claim is a hearsay statement from a social worker who interviewed Aguirre after his arrival.

An attached “Airman Performance Record” shows Aguirre was scheduled to report for duty at Osan Air Base in Korea from Dec. 24, 1985 to Dec. 23, 1986.

“What are the records that establish Mr. Aguirre was anywhere other than Korea at the time of Ms. Doss’ death?” Browne asked Friday.

Browne, a Seattle-based attorney, has made a name for himself defending notorious clients, including serial killer Ted Bundy and Martin Pang, a Seattle arsonist who set a warehouse fire that killed four firefighters in 1995.

Haskell argued military records submitted by the defense only established a reporting period and didn’t say when Aguirre actually left Fairchild Air Force Base for Korea. Medical and dental records show Aguirre received dental care at Fairchild on January 16, 1986, a claim Browne disputed.

Judge Harold Clarke ruled against Browne’s motion to dismiss, saying disagreements over evidence between the state and defense needed to be sorted out at trial. He also rejected Browne’s argument that Aguirre should not be held on bond, but agreed to lower the amount to $500,000.

Aguirre’s bond was initially set at $500,000 when he was charged with murder, but later raised to $1.5 million after prosecutors charged him with voyeurism and witness tampering. Those charges were dropped in February.

Additional charges against Aguirre may be filed, and court documents say investigators are still looking into “numerous voyeurism charges in numerous jurisdictions.” The original voyeurism charge stemmed from video of sexual encounters police found on Aguirre’s computer and cellphone.

Aguirre’s trial is tentatively set to begin June 20. Haskell has filed a motion to push back that date for a second time, which Browne plans to argue against at Aguirre’s next court appearance in late April.


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