SPOKANE, Wash. — Day two of testimony in the Richard Aguirre homicide trial brought multiple law enforcement officials, both active and retired, to the witness stand. Officers believe Richard Aguirre strangled and beat a woman to death in January of 1986. Ruby Doss’ murder went unsolved for decades until a DNA hit lead investigators to Aguirre.
A retired SCSO detective was called to testify about the apparent confession of another suspect in this case.
An individual who investigators say they were able to concretely rule out, confessed to the killing, and a search warrant was conducted to investigate the man’s claims in February of 1999. The man was said to provide specifics of what he claimed he did to Ms. Doss, but couldn’t provide crucial details to support his story.
The retired detective testified to taking the man to the scene of the homicide, but that the former suspect was unable to accurately provide information on what occurred. According to testimony, the man pointed to an area where he claimed Ruby Doss’ was left. The actual location was, ‘quite some distance’ from his claims.
When asked about possible psychiatric issues for this individual, the former detective said he couldn’t speak to that.
“I would classify him as ‘different,” he testified.
The former detective went on to testify to the man’s demeanor when being questioned about the Doss murder. He said when talking about the case, the individual appeared to be touching himself inappropriately under the table.
That individual’s DNA, and several others, were not a match to what was recovered in the condom at the scene of the murder, but officers say Richard Aguirre’s DNA was.
Detective Kip Hollenbeck, the current lead investigator on the case, was next to testify.
He told the jury he began working the case in 2008 when he started looking into several cold cases. He received a grant to seek private DNA testing on some unsolved cases.
Hollenbeck testified to going to Aguirre’s residence in Pasco, WA in 2015 wita warrant to collect his DNA. He recalled for the jury what he said Aguirre told him during that visit.
“He told me he was married in 1986 to another member of the Air Force,” he said. “He told me he was upset because the Air Force wasn’t going to send her with him when he was deployed to South Korea. He told me he was deployed in February of 1986.”
The defense told the jury in their opening statement that they had a certified document starting Aguirre was in Korea in January, at the time of the murder. Hollenbeck said that records he's found show that Richard Aguirre saw a dentist at Fairchild Air Force Base in January of 1986.
After serving in the Air Force, Aguirre went on to become a Pasco Police Officer. He worked for the department for 27 years.
Hollenbeck testified to interviewing his former police colleagues as well as friends and former girlfriends.
A Pasco Police Sgt. took the stand after Hollenbeck. He testified to socializing with Richard Aguirre. He said he’s known him since 2005 when they worked together as patrol officers.
When asked if it was somewhat difficult to be here today testifying, he responded “it is.”
“I knew him well,” he added.
He also testified to discussing the Doss case with Aguirre when Aguirre notified him he was a suspect in the case.
“I asked him, ‘what’s that all about,’ and he said, apparently there is some DNA or something that matches with me,” the Sgt. testified.
He went on to tell the jury Aguirre referred to Doss as a ‘woman of the night,’ and made a comment like, ‘yeah, I knew her and she was alive when I left.’
In opening statements, prosecutors told the jury they will hear testimony from some of those people, including a man who told Hollenbeck Aguirre admitted to being intimate with the victim but denied being her killer.
The trial is set to last well into next week.