Prosecutors refuse to speak about trial

Prosecutors refuse to speak about trial
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Goggins murder is the biggest case in recent history here in the Yakima Valley. That's why an outcome like this has so many people saying where this case went wrong.

We chased down lead prosecutor on the case Ken Ramm to try to get some answers, but he wouldn't stop to talk to us.

This case has been rocky from the beginning when prosecutors announced they wouldn't go after the death penalty.

This was a surprise to some, but no one expected the turns this case would take after that. The trial date was pushed back six months so prosecutors could go over DNA. Then just as the trial started, Harper's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case altogether claiming mismanagement by county prosecutors.

"They haven't provided us with materials needed to prepare for trial," said Harper’s lawyer Peter Mazzone.

On top of that, the lead detective made the judge angry when he didn't show up in court.

"You are the lead detective on what has been characterized as one of the most major homicides in Yakima along with two other homicides and you are not here,” said Judge Ruth Reukauf. “Are you kidding me?"

We asked the sheriff’s office why he wasn’t there.

"As I understand it, he was attending to some request made by the prosecutor’s office," said Stewart Graham the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

Graham said the detective didn't know court was in session that it's up to prosecutors to tell him. Then DNA wasn't taken for three people questioned in the murders.

Action News asked why detectives didn’t get DNA from those people to start with.

"A number of reasons,” said Graham. “One of which has to do with the sheer number of people we talked to."

The biggest turn in the case involved accessing jail conversations between Harper and his lawyer by detectives and prosecutors.

"We had no idea who those calls were being made to,” said Graham. “There is no way of knowing."

"Because usually those calls between lawyers and clients are blocked," asked KIMA.

"Yes," said Graham.

But these were not.

"I'm not happy about it,” he said. “There are things that I wish could have happened differently and my thoughts have been with the family."

The family is on other people's minds as this case took a turn no one expected.