Prescott stockbroker to be retried for killing
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A Prescott stockbroker accused of killing his ex-wife is scheduled to be retried beginning next week after months of starts and stops.
The Prescott Daily Courier reports that jury selection is to start Tuesday in Steven DeMocker's retrial.
Prosecutors said he bludgeoned Carol Kennedy, 53, with a golf club in 2008 to avoid paying alimony bills. DeMocker has maintained that he is innocent.
His first trial ended abruptly in late 2010 when his legal team quit, citing a conflict of interest.
Retired Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe has agreed to preside over the trial after the first judge in the case collapsed in his chambers and later died of a brain tumor.
The trial was once again halted when witnesses alleged that an anonymous June 2009 email sent to attorneys claiming that drug gang members killed Kennedy was actually sent by DeMocker's 18-year-old daughter, Charlotte, at his behest.
DeMocker was subsequently charged with fraudulent schemes, forgery, evidence tampering and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after investigators learned about the source of the email.
Investigators also concluded that DeMocker had made up a story that, in May 2009, a "voice in the (air) vent" at the Camp Verde jail told him his ex-wife was "killed by two guys from Phoenix."
A mistrial was declared in November 2010.
Donahoe took a no-nonsense approach from the start, telling defense attorney Craig Williams that he didn't want "any more 30-page responses on motions" and that five or six would do. Several times in his first appearance on the bench, he noted that DeMocker had, at the time, been in jail for three years, at one point noting that the case "has been partially tried."
"It's ready to go to trial," he said.
Donahoe has said in the past that he believes DeMocker can get a fair trial in Prescott. But the judge said if the court can't find 60 eligible jurors, he would consider moving it.
The trial is expected to last around a month.