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1:02 AM Fri, Nov. 16th

DEMOCKER TRIAL: Docugate appeal thrown out by AZ Supreme Court

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file<br>Steven Democker sits stoically during the opening statements of his trial on June 3, 2010.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file<br>Steven Democker sits stoically during the opening statements of his trial on June 3, 2010.

PHOENIX - The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Steven DeMocker's appeal to have his "Docugate" complaint reviewed by the high court, paving the way for the long-delayed case to move forward.

DeMocker's trial on charges that he murdered his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008 is on hold while Visiting Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe decides if the Yavapai County Attorney's Office should be disqualified from prosecuting the case because people in the office saw sealed documents related to the defense case.

DeMocker's attorneys turned to the Supreme Court when the Arizona Court of Appeals denied DeMocker's claim that the judge's order to turn over sealed materials to an attorney for the Yavapai County Attorney's Office would "re-violate" DeMocker's rights.

Donahoe initially refused to hear such arguments, but the Court of Appeals found in favor of DeMocker and instructed Donahoe to hold a hearing.

DeMocker's attorney, Craig Williams, then refused to turn over the documents to two Phoenix attorneys, Georgia Staton and Russell Yurk, who are litigating the case so that YCAO lawyers Steven Young and Jeff Paupore, who are prosecuting DeMocker, would not be privy to the documents.

Williams said that to give up the materials to anyone would violate both DeMocker's Sixth Amendment rights and a previous judge's order not to disclose them.

He said that what the Court of Appeals mandated is "impossible," calling it "a giant Catch-22," and argued that only disqualifying the YCAO would work.

But, Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied DeMocker's request to review the Court of Appeals' decision.

In keeping with his stated goal of moving the case along, Donahoe on Wednesday set a new court date for Sept. 13, ordering the defense to deliver the documents to Staton and Yurk by Sept. 7.