By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Prosecutors have offered a deal to convicted murderer and former Mossyrock resident Ricky Riffe if he pleads guilty to charges he raped and molested his then-9-year-old step-daughter in the mid-1980s.
Riffe, 55, is already serving a sentence of nearly 103 years, following his conviction last fall in the 1985 kidnapping, robbery and murders of Ed and Minnie Maurin, an elderly Ethel couple.
He was arrested in mid-2012 in the old case, and extradited from his longtime home in King Salmon, Alaska back to Lewis County where he was found guilty after a six-week trial. Early last year, while he was in the jail waiting for his murder trial, prosecutors filed charges accusing him of sex crimes, saying new information came to light during the Maurin investigation.
Riffe appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, where lawyers were expected to confirm if they are prepared for the trial which is scheduled for next week.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer told the judge there had been an offer made by his office, but he understood Riffe’s attorney hadn’t yet conveyed it to or discussed it with his client.
Meyer didn’t disclose what the deal consisted of.
Seattle-based defense attorney John Crowley couldn’t attend the hearing, but represented his client via speakerphone.
Crowley began to explain he was involved in two trials in Eastern Washington, and while he was there, meant to visit Riffe in prison to discuss the offer. But then he learned Riffe had already been put on a bus back to Lewis County, he said.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt was stern, cutting the lawyer off before he could request a postponement.
“We’ve gone out of way to preserve dates for you,” Hunt said.
Hunt told him he expects either the trial to begin on time next week, or if a plea deal is reached, then a plea must made before that date.
Riffe has denied any sexual contact with the girl, according to charging documents.
Meyer said the trial is set to begin next Thursday and could last five days.
For background, read “Battle continues between Ricky Riffe, Lewis County prosecutors” from Friday January 3, 2014, here
And, “Attorneys dispute statute of limitations rules on surprise child sex charge for Maurin double murder defendant” from Saturday February 23, 2013, here