Monday, December 11, 2017

THE FUZZ: A Spokane cold case gets colder; plus, Oregon's biggest drug busts and more

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 1:27 PM


Welcome to The Fuzz, featuring a rundown of law enforcement-related news from Eastern Washington, North Idaho and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Northwest.

This week: The 1986 cold case murder of a Spokane woman who worked as a prostitute might again fade away without anyone held accountable. The murder charge against former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre has been dismissed. Elsewhere, an SPD officer is justified in a non-fatal shooting; the biggest drug busts in Oregon's history; and although Arizona is not part of the PNW, a video of a Mesa County officer's "execution-style" shooting is becoming an essential part of police accountability and reform.

1. Former Pasco cop dodges murder charge — for now
Spokane prosecutors asked to dismiss the murder case against former police officer Richard Aguirre. The former Pasco cop was accused in the 1986 cold case murder of Ruby Doss, who was working as a prostitute in Spokane when she was killed. Aguirre was linked to the crime because a condom found near Doss contained his DNA. At one time, he was also accused of assault and rape and was acquitted of those charges by a Franklin County jury.

The murder case in Spokane was dismissed because "recent DNA results raise significant evidentiary issues," according court documents. However, the charges were dismissed "without prejudice," which means they can be refiled later.

2. Tribal police chief accused of assaulting his wife
Kalispel Tribal Police Chief James Wynecoop was arrested last week after allegedly throwing his wife to the floor, causing her to hit her head, the Spokesman-Review reported. The man also reportedly struck her in the head.

Wynecoop was "drunk and out of control," his wife told police. The woman said she was forced to defend herself by hitting Wynecoop in the head with plastic toy blocks.

Police found broken glass and blood-smeared walls when they responded to the chief's home to investigate.

3. Arizona office acquitted in fatal shooting of unarmed man begging for his life
A graphic video of an Arizona police officer's fatal shooting of a man while he cried and crawled toward the officer has sparked outrage on social media — with activists, celebrities and athletes calling the incident an "execution."

The video, which was released after Officer Philip Brailsford was cleared of criminal charges, shows Daniel Shaver attempting to comply with orders. Moments before Shaver is shot, he is crawling toward police officers with their guns trained on him.

Shaver then moves his right arm in a "very similar motion to someone drawing a pistol from their waist band," according to a report by an officer who watched the video. "Shaver's motion was also consistent with attempting to pull his shorts up as they were falling off. No other purposes for this movement appear to be viable."

Shaver was not armed, and Brailsford was the only one of six officers to fire, according to news reports.

4. Spokane police officer cleared of criminal charges in non-fatal shooting
SPD Officer Tucker Seitz will not face criminal charges for shooting Antonia Davis in September, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Davis reportedly fled when Seitz and another officer attempted to pull him over. He later crashed his vehicle and charged toward officers "with his right hand concealed in his front waistband," rather than obeying commands to get on the ground, according to police.

Davis survived the incident.

5. Drugs, cash and a brief history of the biggest drug busts in Oregon's history
A stash of drugs and cash totaling $444,030 hidden in a vehicle's secret compartments was seized from two suspects driving on Highway 140 in Klamath Falls, the Oregonian/OregonLive, reported.

But the haul doesn't come close to the biggest drug busts in state history.
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