Jurors say they can't reach verdict in cold case killing trial in Spokane of former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre

<p><p>The jury that heard the murder case against former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre in the 1986 killing of Ruby Doss has failed to reach a verdict.</p></p><p><p>Spokane County Superior Judge Maryann Moreno declared a mistrial after  jurors confirmed Thursday afternoon that they were unable to reach a verdict.</p></p><p><p>The jury began deliberations late Wednesday morning. The mistrial was declared about 3:15 p.m. Thursday.</p></p><p><p>Prosecutors requested a new trial and Moreno scheduled it to start on March 7.</p></p><p><p>Aguirre, 57, did not testify during his seven-day long trial.</p></p><p><p> Doss, 27, was found beaten and strangled near Playfair Race Course on Jan. 30, 1986. Doss was a sex worker, living in the El Rancho Motel with her daughter and boyfriend at the time of her death.</p></p><p><p>DNA evidence linked Aguirre to the Doss killing in 2015, and he was charged with murder later that year. Those charges were dropped while investigators waited for more DNA testing, according to court records. Prosecutors <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/sep/18/murder-charge-refiled-against-former-pasco-officer/” target=”_blank”>refiled charges last year.</a></p></p><p><p>Multiple forensic scientists along with a DNA expert testified to the DNA evidence in the case and how the evolution of DNA science affected the case. </p></p><p><p>A condom found near the scene had semen in it that matched Aguirre, said Lorraine Heath, a DNA testing expert who worked on the case. </p></p><p><p>That condom was destroyed during testing in the late 1980s and therefore wasn’t available for further testing to determine if Doss’ DNA was also present.</p></p><p><p>After Aguirre’s DNA was matched to the case, Heath did further testing on other items found at the crime scene. She found multiple other DNA profiles but none matching Aguirre, a fact defense attorney John Browne said shows Aguirre didn’t kill Doss. </p></p><p><p>At that time, Heath swabbed the inside of the envelope that had contained the condom from the scene to see if she could develop a DNA profile. She was <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/dec/07/no-testimony-from-aguirre-as-both-sides-rest-cases/” target=”_blank”>able to find DNA</a> and develop two profiles, one for the sperm cells and another for the non-sperm cells but at the time in 2017 there wasn’t enough of the non-sperm sample for comparison. </p></p><p><p>Then in 2018, <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/dec/07/no-testimony-from-aguirre-as-both-sides-rest-cases/” target=”_blank”>due to advances in a special type of genotyping</a> that uses a statistics and mathematical algorithm to help compare the DNA profile, Heath was able to get a probability that the sample was a mixture of Doss and Aguirre’s DNA.</p></p><p><p>Heath found that the non-sperm sample is 8,100 times more likely to be a combination of Doss and Aguirre’s DNA than a combination of Aguirre and another person’s DNA.</p></p><p><p>Several witnesses, including Aguirre’s former co-workers at the Pasco Police Department, testified Aguirre made statements to them about having slept with Doss but her being alive when he left. </p></p><p><p>One of those people was former Pasco police officer Ryan Flanigan.</p></p><p><p>“His words were, ‘I had sex with her, but I didn’t kill the (expletive),’ ” Flanigan said.</p></p><p><p>Aguirre was facing up to life in prison . </p></p>