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9:46 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Insurance money questions violate attorney-client privilege, says Democker's lawyer

PRESCOTT - In its reply to a prosecution request that the judge in Steven DeMocker's murder trial force the defense to show where his alleged victim's insurance money went, his current and former lawyers say doing so would violate his attorney-client privilege.

DeMocker's re-trial on charges that he bludgeoned to death his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008, is just weeks away. DeMocker, who has maintained his innocence, remains in custody.

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.

But DeMocker attorney Crag Williams said

in his reply that "any communications be-tween the defendant and the prior defense team remain confidential and privileged," and that DeMocker "does not waive any of his rights concerning attorney-client privilege."

Anticipating that argument, Paupore had asked the judge to compel Sears and Osborn Maledon to "disclose, in a basic, non-confidential document" where the funds went.

He said that "the state is not seeking an itemization of the funds or any information that would compromise the attorney-client privilege or that would violate DeMocker's constitutional rights."

Williams said that, in Paupore's motion, "the state gave a pretty detailed history of the disbursement of the Hartford (Insurance) funds, so it is unclear to the defense what the state is missing."

He asked Donahoe to deny the request, and Sears filed a notice of joinder as well, which also asks him to deny it.