Prosecution wants to follow the insurance money
PRESCOTT - With Steven DeMocker's murder trial now less than two months away, the prosecution has asked the court to force his former attorneys to explain where more than $700,000 of his alleged victim's life insurance money ended up.
DeMocker's trial on charges that he killed his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008, is now set to begin in July.
Deputy County Attorney Jeff Paupore's motion asks Judge Gary Donahoe to compel the Phoenix law firm of Osborn Maledon and local defense attorney John Sears to disclose whether they were paid with funds from Kennedy's Hartford Insurance life insurance policies.
The motion claims that, on March 13, 2009, DeMocker signed for disbursements from three policies, and then, in a March 17 telephone call, he told his daughter Katie that the money was to be used for his defense.
Katie was not in favor of that plan, the motion notes, and wanted to keep half for his younger daughter, Charlotte.
DeMocker told her, "in a firm manner," according to the motion, "That has to be down the scale of priorities... we may need every penny of it for defense and I need to make certain that you understand that there will be no impediment to that if that's what we need."
In April 2009, Hartford disbursed $770,000 to Katie DeMocker, the motion said, and then in August, through his mother, Janice, she sent $100,000 to Sears and $250,000 to Osborn Maledon. She then resigned as the trustee of the Kennedy Testimentary Trust, intended to hold the funds for both daughters until they were 25, and the job went to Renee Girard, DeMocker's one-time fiancée.
Girard told the Daily Courier that the DeMocker family asked her to take over as trustee for the estate from Katie DeMocker who was "burned out" and busy with her senior year at college and working two jobs.
The motion alleges that, again, going through his mother, Girard sent $100,000 to Sears and $250,000 to Osborn Maledon.
Paupore argues that, because DeMocker is charged with a fraudulent scheme for taking that money for his own defense, the state has to be able to trace the Hartford insurance money to the attorney's accounts.
He asks the judge to compel Sears and Osborn Maledon to "disclose, in a basic, non-confidential document" where the funds went.
Jury selection in DeMocker's trial is set to begin July 17.