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Mon, Feb. 17

DeMocker's lawyer again moves for dismissal

PRESCOTT - Steven DeMocker's attorney has once again asked the judge in his murder trial to dismiss the case or have it tried by another county's attorney, alleging prosecutorial misconduct.

DeMocker is now just five weeks away from the start of his retrial on charges he murdered his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008.

Craig Williams, writing in a response to a prosecution filing regarding sealed files that were sent to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office (YCAO), said that Deputy County Attorney Jeff Paupore's explanation that most of those files were found in a "banker's box" in the office of now-retired YCAO prosecutor Joe Butner "strains credulity."

Williams suggested that the state must have known about the filed documents. "This discovery by the state of the previously 'unknown' orders happened on the very same day this court brought the issue up," he wrote, and went to on say it was unlikely the YCAO "did not comb over what was in his files" when Butner left.

Responding to Paupore's claim that the defense - two previous attorneys who subsequently quit, triggering a mistrial - never objected to the distribution of the sealed files, Williams said, "The fact remains that the mistaken distribution of a few 15.9 orders - intended by Judge Lindberg (who was hearing the case at the time) or not - did not mean the state could illegally use OnBase (computer database) to read the sealed ex-parte motions."

Williams, who has been arguing that the state used unauthorized computer access to read and print dozens of sealed records, also refutes the prosecution's claim that there has been no harm done to or prejudice against DeMocker's case as a result of having seen those files, so there should be no impact.

"A court has the inherent power to sanction a party or its lawyers if it acts in 'willful disobedience of a court order,'" he wrote, quoting case law.

He then repeated his request to have Judge Warren R. Darrow dismiss the case or disqualify the YCAO from prosecuting it.

Darrow also granted former DeMocker attorney John Sears's request for more time to prepare a full response to the prosecution's request that he be compelled to give a deposition on several issues related to DeMocker's first trial.

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