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DeMocker Trial: Detective faces more grilling from defense

Brett Soldwedel/The Daily Courier<br>
Detective Alex Jaramillo of the YCSO testifies during Steven DeMocker’s trial in Prescott on Thursday.

Brett Soldwedel/The Daily Courier<br> Detective Alex Jaramillo of the YCSO testifies during Steven DeMocker’s trial in Prescott on Thursday.

A Yavapai County Sheriff's detective spent a second day on the witness stand in the murder trial for Steven DeMocker, facing tough questioning from DeMocker's defense lawyer.

Authorities charged DeMocker, 56, with murder in the July 2, 2008, death of his former wife, Carol Kennedy. A deputy found Kennedy's bloody body when he went to her house that evening to check on her welfare after her mother called Yavapai County authorities from Tennessee. Ruth Kennedy said her daughter yelled "Oh, no," before the line cut off, and she was unable to reach her again.

DeMocker told detectives that he was riding his mountain bike at the time his former spouse died on a trail near Granite Mountain. Det. Alex Jaramillo and Det. Doug Brown drove out to Love Lane in the early morning of July 3 but failed to find the trail where DeMocker said he rode after looking for it for about a half-hour, Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo, called to the scene after midnight on July 3, 2008, helped gather evidence at Carol Kennedy's Bridle Path home. He also searched DeMocker's office at UBS Financial Services, he said.

He took swabs from a door leading to the garage at Kennedy's house because he thought a discoloration might be blood, he said.

Jaramillo collected various items for evidence in the case, including Carol Kennedy's cell phone and DeMocker's work computer. However, at a small stable at the Bridle Path house, Jaramillo said he did not notice a bicycle hanging from the wall. He also did not collect tools, such as a post digger, wooden dowels or rebar piled up outside the stable.

"We were trying to figure out the events leading up to what happened before the victim's death," Jaramillo said.

When cross-examined by defense lawyer John Sears, Jaramillo agreed that the tools, such as the post hole digger, might have caused blunt-force injuries, but said they did not appear to have blood on them. Also, linear bruises on Kennedy's arms were made by something smaller, Jaramillo said.

"What about the massive blows to her head?" Sears asked. "You're not a forensic pathologist. You walked by all these instruments because you decided they were not the weapon."

Jaramillo agreed that he did.

When Deputy County Attorney Joseph C. Butner III asked Jaramillo on redirect examination if he seized a claw hammer at the UBS office, Jaramillo said he did.

When responding to questions posed by the jury, Jaramillo said he didn't know why he did not take the bike hanging in the stables as evidence. Asked whether the bike in the stables had dust on it, Jaramillo said that it did.

Sears pounced on that response.

"I believe you told us under oath you did not see the bicycle in the barn," Sears said. "Now you're saying you have no trouble saying you saw dust on a bicycle you didn't see."

Jaramillo said that he didn't know.

"You could not have seen dust on the bicycle because you didn't see it?" Sears said.

"No," Jaramillo responded.

Jurors also asked Jaramillo why he and Brown didn't call for better directions to find out where DeMocker said he took his bike ride or continue looking for it in the daylight. Jaramillo said he didn't know.

The trial, before Superior Court Judge Warren T. Darrow, is expected to resume today. DeMocker remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.

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