Updated Oct 4, 2013 - 10:00 am
Jury convicts Prescott stockbroker of wife's murder
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A jury convicted a Prescott stockbroker of first-degree murder on Friday in the golf-club bludgeoning death of his ex-wife.
The Yavapai County Superior Court jury also found Steven DeMocker guilty of six other charges related to the 2008 death of Carolyn Kennedy.
Prosecutors said DeMocker killed Kennedy at her home in 2008 because he was deep in debt and wanted to cash her insurance policy.
They acknowledged not having a confession, eyewitnesses or evidence directly tying DeMocker to the crime. But they argued that circumstantial evidence should be enough to send him to prison.
DeMocker's defense lawyers told the jury that authorities did not properly investigate Kennedy's death. They tried to deflect attention from DeMocker toward a man who lived with Kennedy at the time but has since died.
DeMocker faces sentencing on Nov. 13. The maximum sentence on the murder conviction is life in prison. He could face additional time behind bars over the convictions for burglary, conspiracy, tampering with evidence, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of fraud.
DeMocker had floated a story about a "voice in the vent" at the Camp Verde jail after his arrest that said his ex-wife was "killed by two guys from Phoenix." Investigators concluded DeMocker concocted the account.
After Kennedy's death, DeMocker tried to claim a $750,000 life insurance payment but the carrier wouldn't make the payout directly to him because he was a suspect. The insurer instead gave the payout to his daughters after DeMocker disclaimed it.
Testimony indicated the money went to defense lawyers in a previous trial that ended abruptly when his legal team quit, citing a conflict of interest.
The current trial began in mid-July.