Los Angeles man arrested in connection to 1982 cold case killing of Washington man found with cord around neck

Archie Rutherford was found by his wife with stab wounds and an electrical cord tied around his neck inside their home, police said

A Los Angeles man has been arrested for the 1982 killing of a Washington man found stabbed to death, authorities said Wednesday. 

Detectives from Spokane traveled to Los Angeles and arrested Tracy Sabron Pruitt, 62, on Oct. 27 in connection with the death of Archie Rutherford. A first-degree murder warrant had been issued for him weeks earlier. 

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Rutherford, 58, a businessman, was found dead on May 25, 1982, by his wife at their home, police said. 

He had sustained stab wounds, a skull fracture and had an electrical cord tied around his neck, authorities said. Detectives investigated the murder but it went nowhere. 

Authorities in Spokane, Washington on Wednesday said a Los Angeles man has been arrested for the 1982 killing of a local businessman.

Authorities in Spokane, Washington on Wednesday said a Los Angeles man has been arrested for the 1982 killing of a local businessman. (Spokane Police Department)

Meanwhile, Pruitt had been arrested in Ohio for an unrelated rape and robbery months after Rutherford's slaying. He was convicted and sentenced to 27 years in prison. 

He remains in police custody in California with no bail, pending extradition. That process could take several months to determine as California courts decide whether to release him to Washington authorities, Spokane police said. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 30, according to Los Angeles County jail records.

Investigators have not disclosed a motive for the killing or whether Pruitt and Rutherford knew each other. 

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Rutherford worked as a night clerk at the Trade Winds Motor Hotel downtown and had been a part-owner with family members of drive-in restaurants called Rutherford’s Triple XXX, The Spokesman-Review reported.