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Saturday, August 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ex-Pasco officer charged with tampering with a witness in murder trial

Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney, Scott Johnson, on Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court in Pasco for his Pasco rape and assault case. (BOB BRAWDY)
Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney, Scott Johnson, on Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court in Pasco for his Pasco rape and assault case. (BOB BRAWDY)

A former Pasco police officer accused of killing a Spokane prostitute 29 years ago is now suspected of trying to find his former girlfriend and interfere with her cooperation with investigators.

Richard Aguirre has made “concerted efforts” from jail to call a friend and a sister to find the woman, according to court documents.

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

Aguirre told her that he “had sex with a prostitute and was not proud of it,” according to court documents. 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 later received a Facebook friend request from Lisa Deruyter, Aguirre’s sister, several weeks after Aguirre was arrested – even though Deruyter had never liked her.

The woman is mentioned in recorded jail phone calls made by Aguirre 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 his former girl-friend 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 Aguirre have no contact with members of the Pasco Police Department. Cipolla said three Pasco officers are being interviewed but did not elaborate on why. No information on the interviews is included in court documents. Prosecutors have alleged that Aguirre is receiving information from former police colleagues. Pasco police have denied that claim.

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