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A life of crime likely ended Friday as a Spokane judge sentenced a man to 17 years in prison for the beating, rape and slaying of a 62-year-old woman on Christmas Eve 1986 that was solved only through advances in technology.
Gary L. Trimble, 63, gave the family of Dorothy E. Burdette nothing to explain why he attacked the 62-year-old woman, rolled her in a blanket and left her to the December elements under the Interstate 90 overpass near High Bridge Park.
“The DNA caught me,” Trimble said in a soft, almost inaudible voice. “I don’t remember the crime. I’ve seen the results.”
Public records portray Trimble as a longtime felon and alcoholic who spent several years in Washington prisons and has a misdemeanor warrant in Spokane County for allegedly stealing his daughter’s car in 2005. Trimble has misdemeanor warrants in at least two other counties for drunken driving and trespassing. Read much mroe about him here.
The only suspect in the 1986 murder of a Spokane woman was arraigned today on murder charges, two weeks after being extradited from Montana.
Gary L. Trimble, 62, pleaded not guilty to the Dec. 24, 1986, murder of Dorothy E. Burdette in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon as more than a dozen of Burdette's family members looked on.
Trimble appeared via video from the Spokane County Jail with his public defender, Kari Reardon, and Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll.
Trial is set to begin March 14 on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, though Reardon said she likely will ask for a continuance.
Driscoll said he filed the second-degree murder charge as a precaution in case the first charge doesn't stick. Trimble was arrested in Montana in October after DNA he submitted for a felony conviction there was linked to
Burdette, who was 62 when she was found strangled to death in High Bridge Park.
Police have submitted Trimble's DNA to see if it matches DNA found on three other murder victims from 1986 and 1987.
He remains in Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.
A suspect in the 1986 murder of a Spokane woman remains in jail on $1 million bond after making his first appearance before a Spokane County judge Thursday.
Police obtained new DNA samples from Gary Lyle Trimble, 62, that will be analyzed to see if they match DNA found on three other Spokane murder victims, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.
Trimble appeared via video feed from Spokane County Jail, where he was booked about 3 p.m. Wednesday after being extradited from Teton County, Mont. He's pictured with his public defender, Kari Reardon, and Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll.
A murder suspect who is a person of interest in three other decades-old slayings could appear before a Spokane County judge as early as Thursday.
Police said today that Gary L. Trimble, 62, should arrive in Spokane by tonight. He was ordered extradited to Spokane from Montana at a hearing Tuesday in Teton County, where he has been in custody since October.
Trimble is charged in Spokane County Superior Court with first-degree murder for the Dec. 24, 1986, strangulation of Dorothy E. Burdette.
Spokane police Detective Kip Hollenbeck traveled to Montana on Tuesday to transport Trimble.
Trimble faced about five years in prison for violating his probation in Montana on an intimidation conviction, but Teton County Attorney Joe Coble said he recommended a suspended prison sentence instead to allow Trimble to immediately face the Spokane County murder charge.
“I think that your case is more important and probably more time sensitive,” Coble said.
A murder suspect who is a person of interest in at least three other Spokane slayings in the mid-1980s is fighting extradition from Montana.
Gary L. Trimble, 62, is in jail in Teton County, Mont., charged in Spokane County with first-degree murder for the Dec. 24, 1986, strangulation of Dorothy E. Burdette.
The first-degree murder charge alleges Trimble killed Burdette while trying to rape her.
Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said he’s obtaining a governor’s warrant for Trimble’s arrest after the suspected killer refused extradition. A hearing will be held in Teton County.
DNA has linked a Montana man to a Spokane woman’s 1986 murder, and police are checking to see if his biological profile is a match in at least three other unsolved murders in Spokane that bear striking similarities.
Gary L. Trimble, 62, of Lincoln, Mont., faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Dorothy E. Burdette, who was found dead in High Bridge Park on Christmas Day 1986.
Police said she’d been severely beaten and appeared to have been sexually assaulted. She died from asphyxiation. In the other cases – Ruby Jean Doss, 27; Mary Ann Turner, 30 and Kathleen DeHart, 37 – the women suffered blows to the head, most were sexually assaulted and all were strangled. The women were killed between 1986 and 1987.