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8/16/2013 6:00:00 AM
Housemate had 'easily verifiable' alibi; DeMocker did not, cop says
Steven Democker
Steven Democker
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The man in charge of the YCSO detectives who investigated the Carol Kennedy murder case said in court Thursday that the department focused its attention on Steven DeMocker as a suspect and not James Knapp because Knapp had an "easily verifiable" alibi but DeMocker did not.

DeMocker is on trial for ex-wife Kennedy's 2008 murder, in which the state said she was beaten to death with a golf club. DeMocker's defense team has been advancing a theory that Knapp, who lived in Kennedy's guest house on her Williamson Valley property, could have been the killer, but was never properly investigated. Knapp's January 2009 death by gunshot wound was ruled a suicide.

On Thursday, YCSO Captain David Rhodes took the stand and answered questions for most of the day. The 19-year veteran of the agency was in charge of its detectives in 2008.

Deputy County Attorney Jeff Paupore played an audiotape of an interview Rhodes and several other detectives conducted with DeMocker in October 2008 at his UBS financial services office in the Valley.

In the interview, DeMocker said to them, "I always wondered why you focused on me," suggesting that it was because he was "the ex."

DeMocker was arrested that same day.

Defense attorney Craig Williams asked Rhodes about Knapp, pointing out that he was never treated as a suspect. He noted that former deputy Mark Boan had testified Wednesday in court that "everybody's a suspect" early in the investigation of a murder.

"I don't know what statement (Boan) made," Rhodes said. "But, no." He was an investigative lead, Rhodes added.

He said deputies had told him that Knapp had given them information about his whereabouts during the time the murder was committed, and it checked out.

"Mr. DeMocker, conversely, was out of sight, had no contact with anyone," had visible injuries, had taken a shower and washed his clothes before police saw him, Rhodes continued.

Following Rhodes, the state called Knapp's son, Alex, to the stand. Now 16 years old, Alex explained that Knapp came over in the early afternoon on the day of the murder to watch him - he was just 11 at the time - while Knapp's ex-wife took his older brother to hockey practice across town.

She stayed to watch the hockey practice, Alex said, and Knapp stayed with him until "9 or 9:30 (p.m.)," when they came home. The state estimates the time of the attack at about 8 p.m.

Defense attorney Greg Parzych had him read the interview he gave a YCSO detective in August 2008.

"'I really don't remember that day,'" Parzych quoted. "That's what you told Detective (Doug) Brown the first time, correct?"

"Yes," Alex answered.

On re-direct, Paupore asked, "Your dad was with you the entire time, correct?"

"Yes, as far as I remember," he replied.

The trial takes a break until Tuesday.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013
Article comment by: I'm not with the Democker family and I find the binoculars suspicious

What window were the binoculars near? Did the window look out on anything other than Kennedy's bedroom windows? These are questions worth considering.

Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013
Article comment by: Do You Ever Get Tired of Spinning?

Putting binoculars on a table by a window (anywhere on the table) is really NOT suspicious or evidence of anything. But the DeMocker family member that keeps repeating the silly innuendo must believe that if she says it enough times maybe at least one person might believe. She is so wrong with her guesses (like only one person friendly to the prosecution uses caps or that I as a Knapp defender ever knew him personally). Utter nonsense.

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: Us blog watchers know there is a SECOND prosecution blowhard

She's the one who SHOUTS all the time by using CAPS and talking about how YOUR BOY is going DOWN. Actually, the CAPS blowhard is likely a Knapp associate since she gets more SHRILL when people mention Knapp's odd and suspicious behavior, like having BINOCULARS where he could look in Carol's BEDROOM WINDOW.

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Article comment by: Ah so it's a little gaggle of like-minded prosecution bloggers tied to YCAO?

That actually seems like a reasonable explanation. Thanks.

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Article comment by: DeMocker Blogger is Suspicious

DeMocker blogger is suspicious there is only one blogger. I wonder why? Perhaps because there is only one defense blogger and sometimes MIke Palmer. She figures one blogger works for YC in some capacity. She's wrong as several of us talk regularly about this case and none of us are connected in anyway.Drink some coffee/tea and talk about this case. None of would need immunity, btw. Isn't that the DeMocker way, do suspicious things, possibly illegal things then blame everyone else for calling it. You might need a hobby.

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Article comment by: Give it a rest because no one believes you

It's obvious to everyone watching this case and these blogs that there is just one obsessed prosecution blogger and she's connected to YCAO.

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013
Article comment by: I'm Not One of the Three but I Blog Too

I don't know the @To blogger but apparently some of my blogs are being attributed to her/him. I don't know about a "book type club" but it would be interesting to have a coffee or lunch when the trial is over to see how many of us there really are. And to observe some closure on the very long DeMocker saga in our community. The DeMocker family supporter can come too if she wants and take down names but she will be sadly disappointed to find that we are ordinary citizens and nobody important to an appeal.

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: @ To

You must have a ton of free time. Guess what? People have to write those phrases in their comments otherwise they wouldn't make the paper. I don't have the time to dissect the pro Democker comments, my best guess is they have similar wording too. Which proves what? I know three people who follow and blog on here who are actively following this case. Why do you care what people think? You don't get to decide the verdict anymore than any of us do. Must be maddening to torture yourself that way. Maybe on the last of the trial, when the verdict is reached we can all get together kinda like a book club and go over all the comments.

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: To:

Very interesting observation you've made. I go back and re-read these posts against the defendant and find most are are filled with the same "I believe...", "It's seems likely...." "I think...", "It makes sense..." statements. These posts are loaded with biased theories and are clearly being written by the same person.

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Check Your Calendar

July 2, 2008 was only one day away from a long-three day weekend holiday for July 4. It makes a lot of sense that DeMocker hoped that Carol's death would not be discovered for a few days. I think DeMocker always planned to cast suspicion on Knapp as Carol's murderer so if the murder had not been discovered immediately, it would have been harder to pinpoint the exact time of death and Knapp would not have had an alibi for the entire period. But thanks to the efforts of Carol's mother, YCSO was informed quickly and Carol was found not much more than an hour after her demise. Even the best plans are not fool-proof.

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: To: the 2 comments below .....

You are making a very broad assessment, assuming that no one but prosecution employed individuals would be so vested in and outspoken about the trial. There are many individuals who are not on the county's payroll who ate invested and have strong opinions.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: I agree the prosecution blogger makes a poor case

Just like the poor case YCAO is making in court. Coincidence? You decide.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: This pro-prosecution writer makes a poor case

In this case, the killer was known to have interrupted the victim while she was talking on the phone to her mother. It's a huge leap of logic to speculate that the defendant must have been there, that the phone was hung up, and that the defendant thought the victim wouldn't be discovered for days. This writer rendered their entire speculation-filled diatribe unworthy of any further consideration. Few facts, just lots of "he believed this" and "he thought that". As if they know. In the last week, we've noticed many similar logic-straining posts that are written in the same style as "To: Barney" . Is the writer on the prosecution team? Seriously, nobody else would be so invested in trying to convince the newspaper-reading public about what this defendant might have been thinking. Have they given up on trying to convince the jury, or are they hoping that the jurors are acting irresponsibly and ignoring the judge's admonition to not read media accounts of this case?

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: To: Barney

DeMocker didn't thing responders would learn of the murder immediately. It was monsoon season which would have washed away tracks. Her thought Carol was off the phone, or had hung up. Nobody would find her for possibly days. I think he thought by the time Carol was found it would make the crime scene more difficult to analyze. $6000 is a lot of money, especially when he was borrowing $20,000 each month from his parents. He lived extravagantly and don't forget the insurance policies. It's good to read you've never thought Knapp did it, because he didn't. Knapp lost a lot that night and had nothing to gain. DeMocker didn't flee because he had lawyers telling him they would win. DeMocker was cocky and believed he outwitted everyone. He believed he had it all figured out, and solved his financial problems, would continue to live the high life. He was prepared to take off, but as days turned into months it seems like he believed he would never be arrested. The DNA contamination and the emails, and he figured if arrested he would be found not guilty. That might have happened if the first trial had gone to completion. People do desperate things for different reasons. DeMocker's reasons were personal and financial. He can answer the questions, but him never will.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Same Old From Barney (DeMocker)

Barney always forgets the $750,000 life insurance that was the primary motivation for DeMocker. YCSO did investigate Knapp which is why we have a detailed account of his alibi and Knapp's DNA was tested along with DeMocker's. At this point, YCSO probably knows almost as much about Knapp's background as they do DeMocker's. But all that knowledge just confirms that Knapp is not a suspect and DeMocker is the primary suspect for Carol's murder. You only investigate until you have someone with overwhelming evidence of MOTIVE and OPPORTUNITY for the murder.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Paging Barney Fife

I never thought Knapp did it. But I do think they should have investigated him because he lived on the property. It just shows the shoddy job the YCSO did on this murder. I think DeMocker had too much to lose (his life behind bars most likely, he's the ex husband after all) and too little to gain (six grand a month isn't much). And he freaking hung around for months. If he really did it he would have headed for Columbia ASAP. It just doesn't make sense that he did it, and they have no good proof to convict 1st degree murder.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ Sad

Not Katherine, or Charlotte because she was young and being controlled, and she will eventually have to testify about her part and come clean, not the Grandfather because the Grandmother did the money stuff, and not the siblings who have not supported their brother ever. Then defense blogs would thin out if not for Mike Palmer who thinks everyone is falsely accused.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ Yes...

One of the comments you wrote is mine. The other isn't. There are more than one of us who think Knapp is your patsy.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Sad To Have To Blame a Dead Man

Is that really ALL you've got? Knapp this, Knapp that, none of which is fact or provable. How about Jim Democker? Does he have an alibi? Why fight coming back to Arizona? Why HIDE financial documents and refuse to turn anything over? What ELSE is this family hiding? I say throw them ALL in jail until they start cooperating with this investigation. And then let them rott.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: More Spinning

You do have to wonder why was there no DNA on DeMocker's bike assuming he was wearing bike shorts and shirt exposing his legs and arms on a hot sweaty day in a bike ride that supposedly took 2-3 hours? But yet there was DNA found on a separate bike pump that might have been used by DeMocker for minutes. How odd.

Carol and Knapp were best friends who spent many hours supporting each other with their respective divorces. The fact that Carol might have showed Knapp a document and asked his advice would not appear unusual. Remember that the document was tucked in a magazine (the age of the magazine and date of the document might indicate when the item was actually discussed by Carol and Knapp).

There are several bloggers here defending Knapp, some who appear to have known him and Carol and some who have only reviewed the evidence about him posted on the court website. What is creepy is the DeMocker family continual attempts to malign and frame the man.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Yes I noticed that too about the prosecution blogger

I've also definitely noticed the prosecution blogger gets most shrill and specific in her attacks when the topic is Knapp. She fawns over Alex Knapp and makes claims about the Kennedy-Knapp relationship that don't come from public or court records (and sound like spin to boot).

She also hypes and misleads on the evidence, claiming there was no Democker DNA on his bike so he "must have wiped it off." But there was just testimony last week from an investigator saying there was Democker blood on his bike pump, which makes perfect sense if you're scratched by cat's claw bushes on a moutain bike ride on the Granite Mountain trails, right where Democker said he was miles away from the scene.

Whereas Knapp's fingerprints are found on a confidential financial document in Kennedy's house where the crime actually occurred.

It really makes me wonder what the prosecution blogger's stake is in all this. Creepy.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Wm U

Posts are about Demokcer most of all. The back and forth he did it...he didn't do it...yadda yadda, yadda. Seems natural posters would mention Knapp if witnesses are talking about him. I only see a couple of posts about Knapp. One poster seems peeved because the reporter called him the "housemate" another guy thinks so too--same guy???---another guy says for a free paper a pretty good one no biggie. Then another one says it is the right word then wishes the son well. Nothing so bad One says look at the juror's questions on the superior court case page. The Jurors ask good questions more interesting than the last ones asked...would like to learn the answers to some of those questions. No question helps questions hurt Knapp. Anybody want to go out on limb about what the questions will be when they hear about the email and the charges Demockee is charged with? Betting dollars to donuts a bunch of posts about Knapp pop up if this prints.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Has anyone else noticed...

...the dramatic increase in the prosecution blogger's comments since the testimony began focusing on Knapp? Their misrepresentations of testimony are on the increase as well. Why does this person care so much about what gets written in these comments? Thank heavens for the jury system.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Housemate is the correct terminology

Carol and Jim Knapp were good friends and he wasn't just a renter, tenant, or border. He lived in the guesthouse, but he spent much of the time with Carol in the main house. They enjoyed each other's company and both were dealing with tough situations. They supported each other emotionally so I would say housemate is the correct term. I believe Carol felt safer having Jim nearby and she was doing him a favor by giving him a home to live in.Only defense people call him anything but Carol's housemate. Probably to make him sound suspicious even though he wasn't and that's their real problem with the writer's use of the term housemate. As time passes it's easy to see through them and spot the transparency in their complaints. I'm impressed by Alexander Knapp and wish him a lifetime of happiness. He deserves it and to put the DeMocker trial behind him once and for all.

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: @Proof of Intelligence

or lose their "BIG BERTHA"

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