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home : latest news : local October 13, 2015

8/15/2013 6:03:00 AM
Deputy testimony: Victim's housemate implicated DeMocker
Steven Democker
Steven Democker
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The defense in the Steven DeMocker murder trial tried to turn a prosecution witness to its own advantage Wednesday as a former deputy testified about informally questioning James Knapp at the crime scene.

DeMocker is on trial for killing his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008. The state claims he bludgeoned her to death with a golf club at her Williamson Valley home.

The defense has been arguing that Knapp - whose 2009 death by a gunshot wound was ruled a suicide - was a viable suspect who was never investigated.

On Wednesday, former Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Boan took the stand. Boan had the most contact with Knapp at the crime scene. He was called to the scene shortly after other deputies arrived and just minutes after Knapp, who was living in Kennedy's guest house, showed up and was told to stay in his pickup truck and wait.

Boan was assigned to watch Knapp, and ended up staying with him for about four hours at the crime scene.

Boan said he didn't tell Knapp anything about the crime scene, and, indeed, knew little more than it was a suspicious death himself.

"He kept asking what was going on," Boan said, but all he told Knapp was that they were "investigating a suspicious circumstance." Meanwhile, he said, he looked Knapp over for evidence of a struggle, and found none. He also looked into the open door of the pick-up but saw nothing suspicious, he said.

Boan said he spoke with Knapp informally, and Knapp explained he'd been at his ex-wife's house with his two sons that evening. Boan was told to get Knapp's information on tape, because, that early in the investigation, "everybody's a suspect."

Boan said Knapp told him DeMocker and Kennedy had gone through a "nasty" divorce, and "if something happened to Carol, that's who he would suspect."

At 9:39 p.m., Knapp called Kennedy's cellphone and left a message that asked her to call him because there had been "foul play or something out here."

Defense attorney Craig Williams played that message and asked about a portion of the message where Knapp said "(Kennedy's mother) Ruth called the cops."

"How could he have known that?" Williams asked.

"I believe I told him that," replied Boan. "That's probably what happened."

Williams reminded him that he said he hadn't been that thoroughly briefed when he arrived, and that nowhere in his reports or interviews did Boan say he'd told Knapp that Kennedy's mother had called police.

"It's been five years, " Boan said.

Deputy County Attorney Jeff Paupore asked him if it was possible that YCSO Sgt. Candice Acton, who had instructed Knapp to move his truck, might have told him. He agreed that was possible.

Just before 10 p.m., fire and EMS personnel came out of the house without a patient, and that, Boan said, is when Knapp "figured it out," and Boan confirmed to him that Kennedy was dead. "He broke down" in tears as he sat in the truck, Boan said.

Boan testified that, around 1 a.m., he escorted Knapp into the guest house to pick up some prescription medication, and that Knapp told him that he was going to a local motel.

"It took him an hour and a half to get there. Do you know where (else) he went?" Williams asked. Boan said he did not know because he stayed at the scene.

"This is a person who is a suspect, you had to tape-record him, and you didn't follow him, correct?"

"That is correct," Boan said.

Williams went on to assert that, less than 24 hours later, Knapp told people at a store that "his roommate was killed (and) there was blood everywhere." Boan said that Knapp had not viewed the crime scene and he did not tell him about the blood.

"You have no idea how he found out?" Williams asked.

"I have no idea," Boan answered.

Testimony continues today with YCSO Captain David Rhodes on the stand.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: From Hamlet:

"The lady (prosecution blogger) doth protest too much, methinks."

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Wrong and Wrong

Here we go again (for the upteenth time) with the single prosecution supporter theory who must be related to YCSO!. I wrote the Silliness blog but I have no idea who wrote the other blog. And I do not know a soul at YCSO. But I do believe that you wish you could prove your fantasy conspiracies because the way the trial is going that may be all you have left to help DeMocker!

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: To Don Zeed

Most everyone figures the obsessive blogger has ties to YCAO. Nuff said.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Don Zeed

Interesting discussion here. The last 2 posts were clearly written by the same person. They appear to have written others both here and under other articles. I wonder what their connection to the case is.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Fake: Agree. How does that work?

I watch televised trials. I watch murder shows. I've studied human behavior, psychology, and find deviant behavior studies particularly fascinating. I've read every book written about notorious murder cases to try to understand why people who kill think and justify their position. I've met people with severe emotional and mental disorders of different types and have experience in understanding family dynamics, how and why people are who they are. Some people are born different, their values and belief systems are different from their family and society's norms. This case has me wondering about a few family members. Remorse, feelings of guilt, sadness, I'm not seeing these feelings in any of the defense comments. I never have, unless written by people who are judged harshly for questioning the defendant. There's something severely wrong here and I wonder when or if these feelings will ever be felt by the key people in this case. The blogger(s) seem only to focus on what people think of the defendant, yet never says anything about feelings for the victim (unless it's to try to shame someone). It seems like(to the blogger(s)) the victim never was, didn't ever live, or possibly didn't matter, which is painful to think about and unimaginable. Part of grieving is denial and I hope the trial is keeping them in this phase of the process. I hope they care about the victim. She didn't deserve to have her life taken from her she deserved to grow old. I hope the trial and verdict allow them to feel something other than anger, resentment and rage at everybody, anybody, nonbelievers, the government and accused partisans. I would like to understand this thinking. Comments sometimes written concern me about the capacity to feel, to care, to love. What I see the main concern as is to win. That's sad because there is no winning. The loss is great but the feelings don't match. The greatest concern is the refusal to objectively look at the evidence, the timelines, the emails, the plans, the actions, the statements and condemn people for questioning the accused. DeMocker has always seemed unaffected and lacking in any emotion over Carol's murder. I find it unusual and scary.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Ignore the Silliness

The DeMocker family supporter tries to use silly analogies to deflect attention away from the real evidence tying DeMocker to Carol's murder. Homicide research (that he tried to scrub from his laptop), checking his life insurance beneficiary status (in event of homicide), riding his bike in the vicinity of murder, his bike has similar bike tracks as found near crime scene, he owns unique shoes that match shoe prints found near crime scene, he owns a golf club that could have made all the marks on the victim (both shoes and club go missing after the crime), he texted victim that he would stop by house the night of murder, he has no corroborating evidence of an alibi for hours before and after murder, his cell phone was turned (uncharacteristically) off for hours, he hid the matching golf sock the day after the murder, he had plans to flee (buying fugitive books, packing a bag and motorcycle, lying to get duplicate passport), he framed others for the crime (fictitious email planted into evidence) and he manipulated Carol's life insurance proceeds for his benefit after the murder. There is only one person with these and more "coincidences" relating to the murder. The cumulative evidence tying DeMocker to Carol's murder will eliminate reasonable doubt. You can explain a few items, but you cannot explain why there are so many items.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: OF COURSE HE DID

Of course Knapp implicated Democker he's the ex husband and do you expect Knapp to implicate himself?Somebody said Knapp this and Knapp that but there's no evidence to prove that he did anything well there's no evidence to prove that Democker did this either.I can't believe they have made this man sit in jail for 5 years.How do they think they know the golf club is left handed when they don't have the club?This whole thing is a joke!

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Fake Email Equals Fake Blogger

Those willing to send a fake email to an officer of the court, a move that implicated the attorneys HIRED AND PAID FOR with insurance blood money to the point they had to QUIT and causing a mistrial in the first trial, are certainly willing to write in to this blog multiple times claiming they are a different person every time. I think it's a reflection of the multiple personalities members of this family seem to have. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide TIMES TEN. Wow - don't get on THEIR bad side. And they are obviously scared about the fate of someone they loved and trusted and gave all their money to. So they, too, take on the fate that a court jury will issue, and will also be condemned and broke. What a tragedy.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: The prosecution has no evidence Democker was in the house and attacked Kennedy

No matter what Democker did or didn't do that day, the prosecution blogger would spin it into something sinister and claim it proves he was in Kennedy's house and attacked her. If someone heard him sneeze she would say he must have gotten pet dander from Kennedy's dogs stuck in his nose. And to her the lack of evidence he was there is proof he was there. And anyone who disagrees with her must be related to the accused. All nonsense and hype, all the time. That's what this prosecution is all about.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: You noticed it me too

The fake email also had many typos and misspelled words in it, too. Hopefully another coincidence but I'm starting to see that going on here. Not much would surprise me. Maybe the commenter is drunk blogging, Incent my left foot.

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: Family Ties Too Close to Discount

The brother and daughters seem all too suspicious in this case. While the murder was probably done solo, the maneuvering with the insurance money, the fake email, the hidden golf club cover - these are things done AFTER this (defendant) was in jail so it would seem the true conspiracy is on the defense side. Their "scheme" to implicate others seems like their only defense to the crime. What kind of defense is, "he did it, they did it, everyone BUT democker did it so why are you blaming our guy?" Talk about Barney Fife- even the real Barney would figure out their weak and baseless arguments. And even HE would get a conviction. Or do you think he, too, is a suspect?

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

Trying someone in the news is rideculas.

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: Why Does Defense Supporter Pretend?

I love it when the DeMocker family defense supporter tries to be someone else by misspelling lots of words. Other than attempt to convince others there is more than one defender, just what does she hope to accomplish?

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ Veritas Semper

BEYOND a Reasonable Doubt were have you been thats like incent until proven guilty. In criminal court today you must prove incences BEYOND a Reasonable Doubt don't get me wrong I belive he is incent but I also belive the county has no choice but to have the police lie and make DeMocker guilty of a crime he did not commit it happens all the time.

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013
Article comment by: Veritas Semper

"BEYOND a Reasonable Doubt"...that is the key phrase. It's a criminal case, not civil. The majority doesn't win. The Prosecution has to provide evidence that points toward guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Based on what has been reported, unless testimony is being withheld from the media, the County had better have a lot more and a lot better evidence waiting to be presented or the necessary standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" isn't even a remote possibility. Lack of evidence, missing evidence, tainted evidence, compromised crime scene, an ME right out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, no DNA, compromised DNA, no witness, no weapon, suspect trampling around the crime scene right after the crime occurred....on and on.
Even if an "Act of God" occurs and he's found guilty he'll win on Appeal in record time.

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

Hey Joe Justice, Maybe you should get your facts straight before spouting off. It just makes you look like an idiot. Your facts on what you said, are not correct reference the Iron Brotherhood incident.

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013
Article comment by: Paging Barney Fife

I don't think there's any way Knapp did it. And I don't think that DeMocker did it either. I'm not sure he didn't do it, but I don't think he is that stupid to think he could kill her and get away with it. He knew he would get thrown in jail if she got murdered unless he had a good alibi. If he had hired a killer then he would have been in some restaurant with 4 other people at the time, not on his bike alone. And if he was in such financial straits why did a judge order him to pay 6 grand/month alimony? I've got friends who pay that much and they are doing pretty well financially.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: What Would You Do?

You come home after a regular night out spending time with your boy at his mother's residence (while your other boy goes to hockey practice with your ex-wife). You immediately see police cars surrounding the property and you are naturally concerned about the safety of your best friend who also lives there. You try repeatedly to find out what is going on by asking everyone you come in contact but you only get bits of information. Mostly, they ask you to stay in your truck. For 3-4 hours. You probably use your cell phone to call anyone whom you think might have more information. Your head is spinning with possibilities. Sometime during the wait, you find out that the worse has happened and that your best friend is dead. You are overcome with emotion and guilt (why weren't you there to protect her?) The police allow you to gather your cancer medication and a few things from your living quarters before you can leave. You are going to an empty motel room so you are in no hurry to get there.You know you will just toss and turn. So, you drive or walk around, perhaps talk some more on your cell phone. If you have access to alcohol, maybe you think about trying to drown your sorrows. Maybe you wish you were dead too so everything would not hurt so much. Somehow, you find the strength to go to that empty motel room and face the next morning. You don't know yet that your life will never get much better. For the next six months, you will be mostly alone, depressed, sick, homeless and financially stressed. Poor Knapp...

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Justice

Five years later and now a trial. Now we have a guy testifying who was fired by YCSO because of his involvement and lying in the Iron Brotherhood beating. Hey Sheila I hope the jury is smart enough to take all this into account. I hope Mr. DeMocker is found innocent and then sues this County big time...

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: It will all be a moot point when his daughter testifies

Have you all forgot about Democker asking his daughter to send the e-mail from a internet cafe in PHX claiming it was a drug hit. When his daughter testifies about this, it will be the nail in the coffin. None of the Democker supporters can explain why he would have his daughter compose this e-mail. What about Democker saying he heard a vocie in the vent of the CV Jail saying someone else killed Carol.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: It Truly Won't Matter

Only the defense supporters are making the mole hill into a mountain - and they should since this is their only other choice for the murderer. Problem is, Knapp didn't golf with left-handed clubs, Knapp wasn't riding his bike behind Carol's house, Knapp didn't conspire with his teenage children, and of course HE HAD AN ALIBI that can be proven. The defendant? NOT SO MUCH.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: Hurry up ........

Hurry up and dismiss this case! There is a serious lack of sufficient evidence.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: Paging Barney Fife

The defense tactic here is just to bring more attention to the YCSO's semi-shoddy investigation of this murder, not to imply that Knapp probably murdered her. They just sort of let Knapp run around the crime scene later before they were really finished. Just leave the jury doubting that they handled things correctly, and they'll let DeMocker off.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: good old prescott

So an incent man sits in jail for 5 years and the police dont investgate the man that most likley killed his wife sounds like prescott justice at work. Hope democker sues this county in to bankrupciey

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: Bring On the Knapp Alibi Witnesses!

The prosecution should immediately establish the timeline of Knapp's alibi including his ex-wife's testimony, the two sons, the grocery store video, the Hastings support and the cell phone expert. Also, get someone to testify regarding the distance and time it takes to travel between the two residences. Have all this testimony culminate in a detailed exhibit of the timeline of Knapp's corroborated whereabouts that will be available to the jury in deliberations. Once the jury sees that it is almost impossible for Knapp to have committed the crime (not to mention he had no MOTIVE), the questions about how Knapp found out certain details of the crime will become meaningless. The focus will then go back to where it should be--DeMocker.

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