Man gets 17 years in 1986 Spokane slaying

SPOKANE — A 63-year-old man is now serving a prison sentence after his DNA was linked, years later, to a 1986 rape and murder of a Spokane woman.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor sentenced Gary Trimble to just over 17 years in prison Friday.

Dorothy E. Burdette’s body was discovered Dec. 26, 1986. Witnesses last saw her that Christmas Eve in downtown Spokane.

The Spokesman-Review reported that the case went unsolved until 2010. That’s when Trimble’s DNA was entered into the national database for a charge in Lincoln, Mont., and investigators matched his DNA to semen samples from the 1986 crime scene.

Trimble entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder in which he did not admit guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him.

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