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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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1/8/2013 9:55:00 PM
Judge acts to stop DeMocker hearing from 'plodding along'
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - After former Deputy County Attorney Joe Butner entered the third hour of his third day on the stand Tuesday, testifying in the Steven DeMocker document hearing, Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe had had enough.

He warned the lawyers that he was becoming frustrated with the lengthy testimony Monday, but on Tuesday, defense attorney Craig Williams continued his long cross-examination until Donahoe asked if he was done.

"No," Williams answered.

"You're going to be, shortly," Donahoe said. "It's just plodding along. You've had three hours. I don't see the point" of Williams asking the same questions about each individual confidential document the prosecution saw.

"This could have been done in three minutes," Donahoe said. Now, "each side gets one hour per witness."

The hearing, which will determine if the Yavapai County Attorney's Office (YCAO) will be removed from prosecuting the case - or if the murder charges against DeMocker, accused of killing his ex-wife in 2008, will be dismissed - has held up the trial for more than a year.

Butner had been on the stand at a session last month, all day Monday, and all morning Tuesday.

Williams, who was trying to prove not only that the YCAO was legally in the wrong for having seen the confidential material, but also that lawyers for the state had used it to change their trial strategy, continued his cross-examination of Butner.

He wants to establish that the filings, which deal with court-appointed experts for indigent clients - in this case, DeMocker - should have been kept secret, because after they were seen, the state pursued a new indictment against DeMocker.

Butner denied that seeing the orders for experts was in any way related to that.

"So he had three defense attorneys on his case, correct?" Williams asked.

"Correct," said Butner.

"In your mind, that was a significant expense to hire those lawyers, correct?"

"Correct."

Williams asked Butner if, when he saw the orders, he wondered how DeMocker was getting state-supplied help if he wasn't indigent.

Butner said, when he asked attorney John Sears, he was told, "'The county's paying some of our costs,' or something like that."

"What cases have you ever been involved with where the county paid some of the costs without the defendant being indigent?" Williams asked.

"I don't know," Butner answered.

In the afternoon, two witnesses testified under the new 60-minute rule: current DeMocker prosecutors Jeff Paupore and Steve Young.

Paupore said he was exposed to the documents when Judge Warren Darrow said in court in July 2011 that the paper documents had been routing-stamped to go to the YCAO and ordered him to find them.

"Until Judge Darrow asked you to see if they could be located, you had never seen them before, correct?" asked attorney Georgia Staton for the YCAO.

"That's correct," Paupore answered.

Paupore said he had decided to search court records for DeMocker's Affadavit of Indigency because Sears, in his opening statement at trial, surprised the state by saying DeMocker had access to the insurance payout.

But, he said, when he got hold of the file, he found 29 instances of "purged" documents and manila folders sealed with tape.

"I was really surprised," Paupore said. "As I was walking back to the office, I was dumbfounded."

But, he said, he didn't actually see the filings at that time.

The hearing continues for three days next week and could wrap up.






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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Article comment by: To: Obviously Not True

So just who are all the folks with MOTIVE that have "splaining to do?" I am unaware of anyone else besides DeMocker who could possibly benefit from Carol's death? The only persons who could financially benefit were DeMocker and his two children, one of which was out of the country on the night of Carol's death. The other child, a 16 year old, has a corroborated alibi. In 4 1/2 years, there has been no discovery of any enemies that the woman had. In fact, people appear to have loved Carol and have only good things to say about her. So, again, where are all the many people you say had MOTIVE, opportunity and no alibi?

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Are You Kidding Did He?

Nonsense! Of course, there are scores of evidence items supporting DeMocker as the murderer. When the trial is allowed to proceed, there is likely to be a conviction on most if not all the charges filed. The courts don't release someone who had previously lied about getting a duplicate passport, had ordered books about being a fugitive and had hidden a getaway bag (discovered after his ex-girlfriend informed police). It is DeMocker's own fault that the case was not decided a few years ago. DeMocker has deceived (planting evidence) and lied about a lot of things. Why should anyone believe him on anything?

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Let him go? Are you crazy?

He committed 5 more felonies WHILE IN JAIL!! His actions are NOT consistent with someone who is innocent, nor are those by his attorney. The saddest part is his choice to include his daughter in fraud against the court with the email scheme. Illegally obtaining a second passport, hiding a getaway bag, ordering books on how to disappear from society- these are the actions of an innocent man? Yeah, right. He'll sooner have a snowball fight in hell than walk the streets as a free man. Get used to the bars, desmocke, because your actions will keep you locked up for the foreseeable future.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Did he? OR Didnt he?

No evidence. No conviction. 4.5 yrs later???? Wow just let the guy go. Remember folks innocent until proven "without doubt" GUILTY.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: More Spinning By Defense Supporter

The two incomplete profiles found on Carol are just that--too small to be identified to anybody. Since they were found in the same areas as Mr. 603, which has been shown to be Ronald Birman the prior autopsy patient, how good are the chances that they are also part of autopsy contamination from the clippers? (Probably close to 100%). The only other unknown DNA was found in the residence was on frequent touch places like a door knob and phone. This DNA could have been there for many months or even years. The jury will look at the entire picture in assessing reasonable doubt--how likely is it that all the evidence connecting DeMocker to the murder could occur without DeMocker being the perpetrator? If the likelihood is very small, the jury will convict.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Obviously Not True

If the new legal standard is to convict anyone who had 'motive, opportunity and no alibi', there are a lot of folks in Prescott who have some 'splaining to do about where they were that July night. For those of us who are seriously interested in bringing Carol's killer to justice, there are at least two men who left their DNA all over the crime scene we'd like to see questioned. It's a travesty that YCSO was more focused on a quick investigation rather than a thorough one, destroying our hopes of seeing this murder solved.

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Article comment by: Not True

Barney Fife is another DeMocker supporter spewing nonsense about James Knapp. DeMocker already tried to frame Knapp and fictitious hit men in the infamous email that DeMocker's minor daughter planted as false evidence and which his ex-girlfriend spilled the beans on. There is a lot of evidence pointing to DeMocker who had motive, opportunity and no alibi. Plus, the Mr. 603 theories have been debunked. Stay tuned.

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Article comment by: Paging Barney Fife

YCAO is in over their heads, but it was the YC Sherrifs that were the Barney Fifes here. I mean they screwed this thing up beyond belief. Heck they let some potential suspect have the place to himself before they secured the crime scene! They more of less put up yellow tape and left, and the guy just stayed there on the property. They'll never convict him, they have no evidence of anything. Zero.

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Article comment by: Hurrah For Judge Donahoe!

Thank goodness for Judge Donahoe. He is doing everything he can to get this case through the court system in a reasonable time period. This hearing is allegedly about YC's competence but instead seems to be spotlighting the lack of Williams's counsel skills.



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