103 years in prison for killing of Lewis County couple

CHEHALIS — A man convicted of killing a Lewis County couple in their 80s during a 1985 robbery was sentenced to 103 years in prison.

Rick Riffe, 55, was sentenced Tuesday in Chehalis for the attack that killed Ed and Minnie Maurin.

Riffe did not speak at the sentencing but his lawyer said he felt no remorse and would make no apologies for something he did not do, The Chronicle reported.

Cold case detectives tracked down Riffe in July 2012 at his home in King Salmon, Alaska. His brother John also was accused in the crime and died earlier last year.

Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said Riffe abducted 81-year-old Ed Maurin and 83-year-old Minnie Maurin from their Ethel home, forced them to drive to a bank and withdraw $8,500, and then shot them.

Hazel Oberg and Dennis Hadaller, two of Minnie Maurin’s surviving children, who are now about the age of their mother and stepfather at the time of their slayings, both read statements Tuesday to the nearly full courtroom.

“This will never be forgotten for generations to come,” Hadaller said. “How could anyone be so cruel and act with such malice to shoot two elderly and trusting people in the back and dumped them in the forest?”

Oberg told the judge that her mother and stepfather gave their children a good upbringing and taught them how to work hard to earn a living.

“It’s been very difficult for me to understand how someone could take their lives for the money,” Oberg said.

Riffe’s defense attorney John Crowley told Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey his client was innocent.

“Rick Riffe makes no apologies to anybody,” Crowley said. “He feels no remorse for something he did not do.”

Crowley said his client will appeal the convictions and sentence. Riffe was convicted on Nov. 18 after a six-week jury trial resulted in guilty verdicts on seven felony counts, including murder, robbery, kidnapping and burglary.

Authorities said the brothers were primary suspects throughout the investigation, but probable cause for their arrest was not developed until evidence was later uncovered and witnesses came forward.

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Information from: The Chronicle, http://www.chronline.com

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