State v. Riffe

Full title: STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent, v. RICKY ALLEN RIFFE, Appellant.

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON DIVISION II

Date published: Nov 10, 2015

Facts

On the morning of December 19, 1985, Dennis Hadaller, Minnie’s son, picked up his son, Michael Hadaller, for work around 5:30 a.m. and they noticed the lights on in Ed and Minnie’s house, which was unusual. Other people who passed by Ed and Minnie’s home that morning also noticed the lights on, unfamiliar men, and unfamiliar vehicles outside of the residence.

Lindsey Senter, a log truck driver, passed by the Maurin residence between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. and saw two men walking westbound between Harms Road and the Maurins’ residence carrying an object about three feet long covered with a cloth. He was suspicious because he believed the object could be a rifle. Nonna Pierce, a neighbor, saw a strange car near Ed and Minnie’s driveway and thought Ed and Minnie might need help when the car pulled into the driveway. Pierce heard voices and assumed everything was fine.

Around 9:30 a.m., Patricia Hull, an employee of Sterling Savings Association, received a phone call from Ed informing her that he wanted to withdraw $8, 500 in cash from his bank account. When Ed arrived at Sterling, Hull asked Ed to have a seat to wait for a cash courier, Hull gave $8, 500 cash to Ed, and Ed left.

Many people saw the Maurins’ green Chrysler driving around the area near Mossyrock and on Bunker Creek Road on December 19. They described the car’s occupants as an older couple and one or two younger men. Two of the witnesses described the younger man as being in his 20s and wearing a stocking cap and a green army jacket or trench coat.

Around 9:00 a.m., Jason Shriver, a resident of Mossyrock, also saw the Maurins’ car on Highway 12. The car was traveling slowly and Shriver saw Ed and Riffe seated in the front and Minnie and Greg seated in the back. Greg was wearing a green army jacket, and a stocking hat, and had a closed beard.

Deputy William Forth was at the intersection of Bunker Creek Road and Highway 6 when he saw a full-sized green Chrysler coming toward him. The driver was a white male in his 20s with a short beard and wore a stocking hat. Fourth identified the driver as Riffe.

Several people, including Sheri Amell and Mary Jones, also saw Riffe and Greg with what appeared to be the Maurins’ car in the parking lot of the Yardbirds shopping center on December 19. About 45 minutes after he first saw two men wiping down a green Chrysler in the Yardbirds’ parking lot, Gordon Campbell saw Riffe walking toward the shopping center. Riffe was wearing an olive drab coat and tight-knit cap, and carrying what appeared to be a rifle. At midday, Amell, along with her friend Jones saw a man walking behind the containers in the Yardbirds’ parking lot. Both Amell and Jones saw a 20-something dark-haired, bearded man, wearing a green army jacket, jeans, and a stocking cap, carrying a gun with something white draped around the trigger area of the gun. Amell later identified Riffe in a photomontage.

Brenda King also saw Greg, a regular customer of hers, get out of a 1969 Chrysler Newport in the Yardbirds’ parking lot carrying a shotgun. Greg had longer dark hair and a beard and was wearing a green army field jacket, jeans, and a stocking cap.

Several other people also saw a man in his 20s with dark hair, an army jacket, and a hat of some kind, walking north from Yardbirds towards the Lewis County Mall carrying a rifle or shotgun wrapped or covered with a cloth or a towel. Other people recognized the green sedan sitting in the Yardbirds’ parking lot on the evening of December 19 but did not see anyone around the vehicle.

Later on December 19, Shirley Hadaller, Dennis’s wife, received a phone call from one of the people attending Minnie’s luncheon. The woman told Shirley there was no one at the Maurins’ residence. Finding this unusual, Shirley went to check on the Maurins at their residence but found the house locked and their car gone. Shirley called Minnie’s daughter, Hazel O’Berg, who contacted several other people, but no one had seen the Marines. When Hazel and Shirley went through the Maurins’ house, they found Minnie’s purse still at the house and bank statements laid out in plain sight. Shirley and Hazel called the police.

On December 20, police found the Maurins’ vehicle in the northeast corner of the Yardbirds parking lot. When Detective Glade Austin responded to the scene, there was blood found throughout the front of the car and blood dripping down the outside of the passenger side of the car. There were no bodies. Detective Richard Harrington and a Washington State Patrol crime scene technician processed the car.

Four days later, on December 24, a passing driver found the Maurins’ bodies on the side of a rural road.

Issue

Decision

We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it (1) excluded Dr. Reinitz’s testimony, (2) admitted two composite sketches of Riffe, (3) admitted Riffe’s brother’s statement about killing before as an adoptive admission, (4) admitted Riffe’s former wife’s question to police, and (5) did not allow Riffe to improperly impeach witness Pierce with her prior inconsistent statements. Next, we hold that Riffe’s right to due process was not violated and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Riffe’s motion for mistrial for the State’s alleged failure to disclose information about witness Bartlett’s plea agreement. Finally, we hold that Riffe’s prosecutorial misconduct and cumulative constitutional error arguments, and his SAG claims, fail. Accordingly, we affirm Riffe’s convictions.

A majority of the panel has determined that this opinion will not be printed in the Washington Appellate Reports, but will be filed for public record by RCW 2.06.040, it is so ordered.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − 16 =