Family members of a former Pasco police officer accused of murder said Friday he is innocent of strangling a prostitute and that Spokane authorities have mishandled his criminal cases.
Family members, including Richard Aguirre’s mother and two of his sisters, called a press conference outside of the Spokane County Courthouse to blast police and prosecutors for handling the cases “unethically.”
Prosecutors were dishonest when they accused Franklin County authorities of leaking information to Aguirre and police have tried to pin a decades-old murder on the longtime Pasco police officer, said Tina LeDoux, who read a statement from the family.
“It is our opinion that Spokane police and prosecutors only succeeded in proving they are willing to do or say anything to shift public views in their favor, even if it means misleading the court and the public,” she said.
A Spokane deputy prosecutor, in open court, accused members of the Pasco Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office of leaking information to Aguirre. Officials from both departments have strongly denied the accusations.
Sheriff Jim Raymond and police Capt. Ken Roske released statements saying they spoke with Spokane police officials, who apparently claimed they had no knowledge of any leaks.
Aguirre has been charged with first-degree murder for the 1986 death of Ruby J. Doss, 27. He also has been charged with voyeurism for allegedly secretly recording himself having sex with a man at a Spokane Valley hotel earlier this year.
Aguirre also has been charged with third-degree rape in Franklin County for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in November. Aguirre, a 27-year veteran of the Pasco police force, was placed on paid leave after the sexual assault allegations surfaced. He resigned in April.
Family members have denied Aguirre is responsible for any of the crimes, saying he is a dedicated family man who has served his community and country.
“We wanted to let the public know we are supporting our brother,” said Denise Prior, Aguirre’s sister. “We know he is not murderer. He is not a rapist. We feel he is innocent.”
Aguirre is in custody at the Spokane County jail where bail in his murder and voyeurism cases is set at $1 million.