UPDATED: Rape trial for former Pasco Police Officer ends in mist - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATED: Rape trial for former Pasco Police Officer ends in mistrial

Posted: Updated:

UPDATED: PASCO, WA. -- The jury deliberated for more than 12-hours which, in comparison, is nearly as long as they heard testimony for the rape case involving former Pasco Police Officer Richard Aguirre. On Friday, those 12 jurors said they were hopeless deadlocked. 

Just before 4 o'clock Friday, Judge Bruce Spanner called the jury into the courtroom and asked them if they would be able to come to a decision in a reasonable amount of time. The answer to that question was no.

We talked to defense attorney John Henry Brown after the decision. He was pleased that his client Richard Aguirre was not going to prison. But he didn't call the decision a win. 

Behind closed doors, he said 5 jurors told him they were hung up on some of the DNA evidence and all 5 of them said the key witness in this case against the former Pasco Police officer was not a good witness.

Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant was out of town Friday. He told us on the phone that they have a decision to make on whether or not they will retry the case. 

"I think it would be very foolish for the state to go forward with this case," John Henry Brown said. "And I bet they won't, that's my guess. There is no new evidence. We can do this trial as well if not better next time but that seems to be a waste of time."

"Disappointed, obviously we believe we had a strong case or we wouldn't have filed charges," Prosecutor Shawn Sant said. "We have strong constitutional requirements that we have to have unanimous jury verdicts and that's why these cases are tough."

Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny and Prosecutor Shawn Sant expect to go over the evidence and meet with the alleged victim sometime in the next few days. 

Aguirre will be back in court August 2nd. During that hearing, the prosecutor will determine whether or not to retry the case or drop the charges. 



BREAKING: PASCO, WA. -- The rape trial for a former Pasco Police Officer has ended in a mistrial. The jury deciding Richard Aguirre's fate could not come to a unanimous decision.

A hearing has now been set for August 2nd.


Previous Coverage:

Closing arguments wrapped up in the rape case of former Pasco Police Officer Richard Aguirre. 

Whether a former police officer will spend time in prison for allegedly raping a family member in his bed one night is now up to a jury of his peers. 

On Wednesday, both the prosecution and the defense gave their closing arguments. Those arguments took a couple hours and ended right around 4:30 Wednesday evening.

The prosecution claims that his family member was shocked when she woke up to Aguirre allegedly touching her inappropriately. Consent, the prosecutor argued, was never given, especially because the two are related. 

The defense attacked the prosecution saying their argument was disjointed and unbelievable. Aguirre did not testify in the trial, but we did hear him repeatedly deny the allegations of sexual assault in a voluntary interview with police a week after the alleged incident.

Here's what both the prosecution and the defense had to saying in closing arguments Wednesday. 

"(She's) telling the truth 100% about what happened. That she did not give any consent whatsoever to Richard Aguirre for any type of sexual contact," Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny said. "So ladies and gentlemen, based on that, we're asking you to return verdicts of guilty for the crimes of rape in the 3rd degree, and assault in the 4th degree."

"You know he's a good lawyer. I respect Mr. Jenny," Defense Attorney John Henry Brown said. "I don't think he's got a case and I think he's desperate. But I respect him. I think you can see by the basis of this case, how innocent people get convicted and that's why it is your duty to follow the law."

The jury began deliberation just before 5 Wednesday evening. We haven't gotten word of a verdict yet. The earliest we might get a decision in the trial is Thursday morning. The trial only took 3 days to complete.

If convicted on all counts, Aguirre could spend more than five years in prison. Aguirre is also charged with murder in Spokane County for the killing of Ruby Doss in 1986.