Los Angeles Man Caught In 1982 Cold Case Homicide Of Washington Man With Chain Around Neck

Wednesday, officials said that a man from Los Angeles had been detained in connection with the 1982 stabbing murder of a man from Washington.

Spokane police officers flew to Los Angeles on October 27 to make an arrest in the killing of Archie Rutherford; they found and arrested Tracy Sabron Pruitt, 62. Weeks previously, a first-degree murder warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Los Angeles man caught in 1982 cold case homicide of Washington man with chain around neck
Los Angeles man caught in 1982 cold case homicide of Washington man with chain around neck

According to authorities, Rutherford, a 58-year-old businessman, was discovered dead in his house on May 25, 1982, by his wife.

Authorities said that he had been stabbed many times, had a skull fracture, and was strangled with an electrical cable. Detectives spent time looking into the murder, but they came up empty.

Pruitt, meantime, was apprehended in Ohio for a rape and robbery that had nothing to do with Rutherford’s murder. He was found guilty and given a 27-year jail term.

Until he can be extradited from California, he will stay in detention there. Spokane police said it might be months before they know whether California courts would release him to Washington authorities. According to documents from the Los Angeles County Jail, his next court hearing is on November 30.

The motivation for the murder and whether or not Pruitt and Rutherford were acquainted remain unknown.

The downtown Trade Winds Motor Hotel employed Rutherford as a night clerk, and The Spokesman-Review noted that he had previously co-owned Rutherford’s Triple XXX drive-in restaurants with his relatives.

 

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