PRESCOTT - The sentencing for Steven DeMocker, found guilty in the murder of his ex-wife, will be delayed until at least January, according to a court document.
Superior Court Judge Gary E. Donahoe issued the ruling on Thursday, vacating the planned sentencing date of Nov. 13 in response to a request from the defense for more time.
Donahoe said that he would delay sentencing "because of the conduct of (YCSO) Captain (David) Rhodes."
DeMocker's attorney, Craig Williams, accused Rhodes, commander of the Camp Verde jail, of "questioning" DeMocker after the verdicts were read without an attorney present, even though DeMocker reminded Rhodes that he was still represented by legal counsel.
Williams made the allegation in a request for videotape, notes, and transcripts of what was said in that conversation. Deputy County Attorney Steve Young filed a reply indicating that none of those exist. Williams asked for a continuance to investigate the situation.
Donahoe is ordering that defense attorneys be given time to interview Rhodes and "any other YCSO personnel that were present during the interview."
Donahoe is also allowing more time to hear oral arguments on the defense attorneys' motions for a new trial and to throw out the jury verdicts. He had previously planned to hear them the same day as the sentencing, but now Donahoe has slated the motions for Jan. 8, and "any new sentencing date will be set after the court rules" on those motions.
"No further continuances will be granted," he added.
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