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home : latest news : latest news August 28, 2014


1/17/2014 6:01:00 AM
DeMocker: 'Fix was in' with jury that convicted him
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierDefendant Steven DeMocker talks with his public defender Craig Williams Aug. 22, 2013, at the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Defendant Steven DeMocker talks with his public defender Craig Williams Aug. 22, 2013, at the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Steve DeMocker, convicted of murder in the killing of his ex-wife, believed the jury in his trial was "fixed," that attorney Craig Williams did a poor job of representing him, and that the judge wanted him convicted, according to court documents.

DeMocker was found guilty in October of the July 2008 murder of Carol Kennedy. The state contended that he bludgeoned her to death with a golf club. He will be sentenced Jan. 24.

DeMocker made 140 phone calls from the Camp Verde jail between his Oct. 4 conviction and Oct. 29, according to a report submitted by the chief investigator at the Yavapai County Attorney's Office, Randy Schmidt, who said that he listened to the 113 calls that did not involve DeMocker's lawyers.

DeMocker was unhappy with the make-up of the jury, he said in several of the phone calls. In one, made the day he was convicted, he told his father "that was not a very sophisticated jury," Schmidt wrote.

The next day, he told his mother that the jury selection process was a "disaster" and that the members of the panel had "limited intellect." DeMocker also complained that the foreman of the jury was against him from the start, Schmidt wrote.

When he spoke with his brother, Jim, on Oct. 9, DeMocker said the jury was "fixed," and later told his mother that "this jury was rigged to convict."

DeMocker told family members that he was not satisfied with Williams. Talking with his daughter, Katie, on Oct. 5, he said Williams was "not good on his feet," Schmidt said. DeMocker did, however, praise his second-chair counsel, Greg Parzych, saying that Williams did not let him participate enough. DeMocker also complained that Superior Court Judge Gary E. Donahoe was prejudiced against him.

In an Oct. 16 call, he told his mother and father that "this judge was just brought in to cram the case through and to get a conviction." On another occasion, he said Donahoe was a "nightmare" and, Schmidt wrote, "(DeMocker) said that the judge tried the case in front of the media."

Schmidt notes that DeMocker repeatedly made references to wanting to do interviews with CBS News and NBC News, and that family members said they had been told those interviews would portray him as an innocent man wrongly convicted. They have yet to take place.

Sheriff Scott Mascher has said he will not allow on-site media interviews because he could not accommodate the crews and maintain a secure environment.

DeMocker's attorney, Craig Williams, disputed the accuracy of the report produced by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office. "He's just been convicted - he's innocent - and it's a shock to the system," Williams said. "And Mr. DeMocker does not agree with what was said about him in this report."

Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane told the Associated Press that the office stands by the report, which is a mix of direct quotes from DeMocker and his family, paraphrasing and opinion by an investigator from the office.

McGrane said it was not intended to be a transcript and is written from a prosecutor's point of view.



The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy




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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Article comment by: Please, Go Read the Files!

Ms. Foss you are naive or uninformed. Please go down to the courthouse and request the public files on the trial. Read the many, many, many thousands of pages. Perhaps, then you will be less apt to criticize a jury that sat for months listening to evidence. Almost everyone who takes the time (hundreds of hours) to really learn about this case comes to the conclusion that DeMocker is guilty. There are simply too many coincidences linking DeMocker to the crime to be explained as random occurrences (not statistically possible). The jurors used common sense to reach a verdict.

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014
Article comment by: laurie foss

I have been reading all these comments, but there is a few problems I see here, plus why would he kill someone knowing he would be the 1st suspect. I do think they missed something on the tenent-Knapp. Did his kid have a bike with the same tires? Possibly? But something in my gut tells me that someone messed up and won't admit it!

This was way to easy of a case for the police and the prosecution!?

Being arrogant and smug person does not make a person guilty. Neither does a jury stating they find him guilty prove that either!!

If that was all that was taken out of this by everyone, then what makes a person "Not guilty"? There is so much presumption on his guilt I do not think he was ever going to be found anything other then "Guilty"!!

He did not flee at all while free, he did something stupid but that does not mean he killed his wife. If stupid was a way of proving guilt, all of us would be in prison!!

I wish I could see all the case files and go over it with a fine tooth comb, there has been worse thing said, with more evidence on others to have it come out those people were innocent of all charges!!!


Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: The Forgotten Man

If you review the recent jail calls, you soon realize that DeMocker craves attention. From the jail, he calls his family for many hours each day. I actually feel sorry for his Mom who gets the majority of the calls. When he goes to prison (probably one of the maximum facilities near Florence), DeMocker will be allowed a single 15 minute phone call per week. I think the lack of attention will be harder on DeMocker than anything else. He was used to being center of attention for most of his life. To be the forgotten man is the ultimate punishment for DeMocker.

Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Article comment by: @ Button Square

AA Meetings and religious groups are a great thing to offer in jails. I'm all for them and often the men attending them get a lot out of them and turn their lives around once they serve their time. That said, Steven DeMocker isn't one of those men attending either type of meeting. He's a breed all his own--as seen if you read his conversations with his family members. He's more interested in hit man books and figuring out any possible way to gain national fame. He's not interested in working on himself because he's perfect. Steven DeMocker isn't safe and would escape any way he could. Denying him the interviews is a good idea. He can be interviewed when he's in a prison. You do realize how he killed his wife of 25 years, right? This was not a quick death or one that involved any compassion but one he planned that way. He should be going to meetings but he's just too good for them. And the guys who do attend have hope of seeing the outside and being back in society. They aren't the guys waiting for murder trials and convictions. And they aren't the guys who have schemed and scammed during the time they have been in jail. No, DeMocker is different and you shouldn't think for a second he' safe. He's a shark who will stop at nothing to escape his sentencing.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Now that is interesting

Sure, Steve, The Fix Was In... When you made the choice to go and kill Carol. I have no pity for you or the rights you lack. Only for Carol and what pain you inflicted upon her before you killed her. Now convicted, you get to suffer.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Re Frank Aimes

If you really read ALL the postings on the courthouse website (the mountain of evidence) you would realize this is NOT the case of an innocent man convicted of crimes (10 charges). DeMocker belongs in prison for murdering his wife, planting false evidence into his case and life insurance fraud. Do your research and find another case more deserving of your advocacy.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Button Square Pants

I almost forgot to mention that the Sheriff allows one or two volunteers to sit in a room full of sometimes 5 to 15 inmates completely unwatched by any Detention Officer for 45 minutes or longer for the various religious and AA meetings they hold there several times each week... what makes the sheriff think he can't accommodate a couple news crews and ONE friggin inmate. The Sheriff is full of crap, he just doesn't want to deal with a news crew going through his jail, that's it!

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Button Square Pants

"Sheriff Scott Mascher has said he will not allow on-site media interviews because he could not accommodate the crews and maintain a secure environment."

But the Sheriff will allow a dozen or so College kids to walk through the jail instead... that doens't make any sense at all to me.


Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Coyote Contraire™

@ To Coyote Contraire,
Apparently my point slipped right by you: In no way did I made reference to any rights Democker may have had or lost, and I am well aware of constitutional rights forfeiture upon felony conviction.

I don't give a hoot about Mr. DeMocker and, since I didn't attend any of the trial nor witness firsthand any of the presented evidence, have no opinion about the accuracy of its decision.

My interest here is solely in unfettered journalism. I know courts, laws and "policies" in this country have continually hobbled that aspect of the First Amendment for one cobbled-up excuse or another, be it "security" or some other crock. I'm just not okay with it.

I am of the opinion that an absolutely free press, including the garbage confronting us in the grocery check-out line, is foundational to a free society, and believe that's why the 1st Amendment was indeed The First Amendment, added to that well-intended but flawed document. It needs to be inviolable or we drive down a very dark alley.

You simply can't have a free press without unrestricted access, and history shows us such restrictions occur only for political reasons, as here in the DeMocker case.

In terms of "newsworthiness", had Carol's murder been as "knifie" as Jodie's boyfriend's (AND with a murdering female), HLN and the rest of the trashers would have moved into Prescott in a heartbeat. Alas, males often murder and a mere clobbered skull does not offer such national teevee appeal or our hotels would have been filled for months.
^-,,-^


Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Aimes

Many innocent people are in jail simply so a prosecutor can put another notch on his resume, another win in the win column.

If there is any chance this could be the case then that is probable doubt.

What if it were you? What if circumstantial evidence placed you in this predicament and you knew you were innocent yet no one would listen to you?

I am not saying this to be the case, but it has happened before so all due diligence must prevail.


Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: To Coyote Contraire

Just what constitutional right violation are you referring to? DeMocker as a convicted criminal has lost most of his civil rights. And despite freedom of the press, the Supreme Court has repeatedly restricted journalists rights to access in prisons for security and other reasons. Arizona state law further restricts access in prisons to attorneys, family and friends of the inmate (family and friends are subject to the jail rules for access). So, I don't think anyone has done anything illegal in refusing to accommodate DeMocker in his quest to gain notoriety. And let's face it, it is not as if the media is camping outside of the YC jail door in a quest to interview DeMocker. DeMocker is really not all that important of a story to the outside world. Just a 10 minute news flash for most people that is soon replaced by something more newsworthy. DeMocker should done his interviews before he was convicted when he still had his civil rights. It is too late now for him to have any control over what the jail will allow.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: To Coyote Contraire

Just what constitutional right violation are you referring to? DeMocker as a convicted criminal has lost most of his civil rights. And despite freedom of the press, the Supreme Court has repeatedly restricted journalists rights to access in prisons for security and other reasons. Arizona state law further restricts access in prisons to attorneys, family and friends of the inmate (family and friends are subject to the jail rules for access). So, I don't think anyone has done anything illegal in refusing to accommodate DeMocker in his quest to gain notoriety. And let's face it, it is not as if the media is camping outside of the YC jail door in a quest to interview DeMocker. DeMocker is really not all that important of a story to the outside world. Just a 10 minute news flash for most people that is soon replaced by something more newsworthy. DeMocker should done his interviews before he was convicted when he still had his civil rights. It is too late now for him to have any control over what the jail will allow.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: Can't Believe`

I can't believe he is being so judgmental of others. He should spend YEARS in jail without anytime for release for all he has done to this community and spending our tax dollars. Who cares how little his cell is, think of the grave she is in??

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: Sally Whitney

TO "COYOTE CONTRAIRE" ...SOME of us are very pleased that the sheriff is "still aggressively putting people [i.e. non-law-abiding people who commit crimes] in jail." Why you contend that your "Constitutional right" because of the often touted and often abused First Amendment was being trampled upon because you weren't able to go into the jail with your cameraman to get an interview from a prisoner seems ludicrous, a bit sanctimonious and frankly like sour grapes because you weren't able to get DeMocker's "I'm innocent!," grasping-at-any-straws version of "the story" to perhaps then sell to the media. SOME of us are NOT pleased that he convinced their girls to give over their mother's insurance money to pay towards his defense. THAT is sad. THANK YOU to LAW INFORCEMENT, the DILIGENT JURY, JUDGE DONAHOE and PROSECUTORS.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: r b

I can't wait to hear all the complaints that Democker will have after the sentencing.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Big Amy

Ha ha ha! Trust me, the jury was not "fixed," nor did they have "limited intellect," although it didn't take a rocket scientist to put everything together and determine his guilt. Here's a guy who made 140 phone calls in 25 days from jail, who took his mobile phone everywhere (along with spare battery), and coincidentally had it turned off for hours during Carol's murder. This same guy coached his daughter to turn off her phone when she sent the phony email from an Internet cafe so she couldn't be placed there later by cell-phone tower data. Then there were his shoes, golf club (and it's head cover), bike... good grief, the mountain of evidence is overwhelming. Guilty, guilty man.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: DeMocker Caused Disclosure of Jail Conversations

The prosecution was not being mean-spirited or spending unnecessary taxpayer funds in publicizing DeMocker's October 2013 jail phone conversations. The prosecution only produced the jail conversations by DeMocker and family AFTER DeMocker charged that Captain Rhodes had tried to talk to DeMocker about his former attorneys' role in Carol's life insurance. DeMocker's jail conversations before and after the alleged meeting between Rhodes and DeMocker were reviewed to see whether anything was said to corroborate DeMocker's claims. (It is noteworthy that DeMocker did not discuss the insurance incident in the phone calls.) So, DeMocker and his attorneys are responsible for the jail conversations becoming part of the public record in his trial. DeMocker's attorney tried to seal the calls from public view but Judge Donahoe rightfully said no they were part of the record.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: RJ Wrong

It is a popular misconception that circumstantial evidence is less valid or important than direct evidence. Most criminals avoid generating direct evidence such as eye witness testimony. Timothy McVeigh and Scott Peterson are two examples of high profile convictions based heavily on circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence includes most forensic evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, tracks, photos, and other evidence of an individual's behavior before and after a crime. Circumstantial evidence usually comes from multiple sources that reinforce each other and together become corroborating evidence. In the DeMocker case, the circumstantial evidence was plentiful and overwhelming. It would be almost statistically impossible for all the evidence tying DeMocker to the murder to have been mere "coincidences" without DeMocker being involved in the crime. The jury used common sense to come to a conclusion that DeMocker was guilty of murdering Carol.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: R J

He's probably right. There never was any good physical evidence to support a conviction. You can't just assume he killed his ex-wife because he was a disgruntled ex-husband. That is exactly what this case was built on, assumptions and circumstantial evidence.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Doctor Bob

"The fix was in"......................LOL (that's funny)

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Why was money spent on this? Looks like malcious taunting by prosecution and sheriff.

Was there any purpose to spending more tax payer dollars on transcribing phone calls to publicize, besides to sucker punch someone who has just been convicted? Seems mean-spirited, and otherwise pointless.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Those Darned Limited Intellects... They Somehow Got It Right

"He's just been convicted - he's innocent - and it's a shock to the system,"

Stephen wonders... How could such a bunch of intellectual dullards be able to see through the clever lies that I concocted with my dazzling intellect regarding the well researched, but totally bungled murder of my children's mother?

I think that since he has been convicted, he is therefore no longer innocent, he is guilty as charged!

Time to spend the rest of your life in prison!


Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: hiplane drifter

"And if he didn't have millions to spend on lawyers he would have been sentenced long ago." Tom Steele

This is exactly why innocent men have been executed following prosecutorial fraud and incompetence. They didn't have the money to defend themselves properly.

And speaking of prosecutorial incompetence, this case takes the cake. No other single factor is more pertinent to the protraction of this trial.

Better to have a Democker-type case from time to time, just to reaffirm that there is a procedure that must be followed before you can put a person in jail for life, or exterminate him.

Too bad it's the taxpayers of Yavapai County who had to foot the bill for this one. We just drew the short straw, I guess..


Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Coyote Contraire™

What First Amendment?

Every time I see the sheriff's name I remember his initial public statement upon taking office: "We're still aggressively putting people in jail." That's not the same thing as saying "We're aggressively fighting crime". It's just means we're working to keep the jail full.

But that's not the point of this. The point is that he's not only attacking freedom of the press, but is likely illegally violating the constitutionally-guaranteed right:

"...could not accommodate the [news] crews and maintain a secure environment"? Does he really believe we're stupid enough to swallow that?

What's constitutes a "crew"? Usually a single camera operator and (sometimes) a sound person, plus an interviewer. Some security threat.

The presence of a couple of "civilians" is going to trigger an inmate riot? Does he fear a news crew will try to spring DeMocker in some Mission Impossible scenario?

A few years ago I worked as a sound man for a friend doing a freelance story on Maricopa County law enforcement and Sheriff Joe had no problem with us shooting in even the highest-security area of his jail.

Let's face it, this is probably nothing but an illegal denial of legitimate journalistic access.
^-,,-^
c1233


Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Webster's Definition

“ Narcissistic personality: Characterized especially by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, persistent need for admiration, lack of empathy for others, excessive pride in achievements, and snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes.” A good description of you, DeMocker. Proud to call Prescott my hometown & glad you will soon be out of it. Praises to Judge Donahoe for his handling of the matter. May the victim's family find solace. RIP Carol.


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