Murderer ordered to pay restitution for county’s costs
Rick Riffe was convicted of murder, robbery, kidnapping and burglary for the deaths of Ed and Minnie Maurin in 1985, and was sentenced to 103 years in prison in December.
The (Centralia) Chronicle
Convicted murderer Rick A. Riffe was ordered to pay more than $25,000 in restitution costs for expenses associated with his trial, the funerals of Ed and Minnie Maurin, as well as his extradition from Alaska to Lewis County.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the prosecutor’s office had an estimated budget of $15,000 for trial-related costs.
“We didn’t even come close to that,” Meyer said.
Riffe, who was convicted of murder, robbery, kidnapping and burglary for the deaths of Ed and Minnie Maurin in 1985, was sentenced to 103 years in prison in December. He will appeal his convictions.
The out-of-pocket expenses for the prosecutor’s office, not including the time of the prosecutors or other office personnel, featured: $8,840 for subpoenas, expert-witness fees and travel-related expenses, as well as about $3,800 for extradition costs, including plane tickets, food and other travel-related expenses for Riffe’s extradition to Washington from Alaska, where he was arrested in July 2012.
There may be additional costs to the state not included in those figures for some travel-related expenses and for the costs of court transcripts, Meyer said.
During Riffe’s sentencing hearing in December, the judge ordered Riffe to pay those expenses.
In addition to those amounts, Riffe was also ordered on Thursday to pay restitution amounts including $8,500 for the money he was convicted of stealing from the Maurins before their murders, as well as about $5,454 for the couple’s funeral costs.
The prosecutor’s office spent less money than anticipated, as several of the expert witnesses donated their time instead of billing for it, the prosecutor said.
Also, the sheriff’s office volunteers drove to and from the airport in Portland and Seattle to pick up the out-of-state witnesses.
“That saved the county a ton of money,” Meyer said.
The 55-year-old former Alaska man is still in custody at the Lewis County Jail as he awaits trial for additional, unrelated rape charges for the sexual abuse of a family member in the 1980s.
Riffe did not have a public defender and retained a Seattle-based attorney, which lowered the restitution.
The sheriff’s office did not keep track of all the expenses related to the homicide investigation over the course of the 28-year investigation.
Dennis Hadaller, the son of Minnie and stepson of Ed, hired two private investigators in 2005 to pursue the investigation alongside the sheriff’s office. He declined to estimate the amount of money he spent.
Shortly after the 1985 murders, a reward fund was set up through Sterling Savings Bank for anyone with information about who might have been involved in the crime. People from throughout the community donated money to the reward fund. After several years went by with no progress on the case, sometime in the early 1990s, Hadaller said he had the bank return the money to the people who donated it.
Later on, additional rewards were offered for information about the murders. No one, however, came forward to claim the reward.