The murder retrial of former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre took another turn on Wednesday, as the defense introduced witnesses shedding new light on the victim’s troubled relationships prior to her untimely death.
The case, which dates back to the 1986 killing of Ruby Doss, a sex worker found in an east Spokane vacant lot, has resurfaced with compelling developments. Aguirre, standing trial for Doss’ murder, listened as his attorneys brought forward three witnesses, each adding layers to the complex narrative.
First to take the stand was retired Corporal Tom Sahlberg, one of the original patrol officers who delved into the murder investigation. Sahlberg recounted his interactions with other sex workers familiar with Doss, revealing that Doss had allegedly angered a fellow sex worker and a pimp by “snitching.” This disclosure painted a picture of Doss as a figure who had created enemies within her own circle.
Bradley Nave, another officer from the initial investigation, echoed Sahlberg’s statements. Nave added that Doss, who also went by the names Memphis and Theresa Cox, was known in an area notorious for prostitution. He noted that the implicated pimp and sex worker mysteriously left town soon after Doss’ murder, a detail that added a hint of intrigue to the proceedings.
The third witness, Lyle Johnson, Supervisor of the Forensic Unit for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, contributed a different angle to the trial by presenting photographs he took of Aguirre’s feet as part of the investigation.
As the trial prepares to resume on Thursday, the latest testimonies have injected new speculation and theories into a case already rife with mystery and drama. The revelations about Doss’ strained relationships with others in her line of work have opened up potential alternate narratives in a murder mystery that has haunted Spokane for decades.