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Fri, July 19

YCSO Captain to be represented by same lawyer as county in DeMocker case

PRESCOTT - A Ya-vapai County Sheriff's Captain at the center of a new controversy in the Steven DeMocker murder trial will be represented by Georgia Staton, who was the county's lawyer in the confidential document hearings this summer.

Captain David Rhodes, commander of the Camp Verde jail, allegedly pulled DeMocker aside on Oct. 14, after he was found guilty in the murder of his ex-wife but before he was sentenced, for a one-on-one discussion, DeMocker's attorney, Craig Williams, said.

Williams said De-Mocker was "questioned" without his legal counsel present, despite the fact that he reminded Rhodes that he was still represented by Williams and Greg Parzych.

The conversation dealt with the victim's life insurance payout, which was used -fraudulently, the jury decided - to pay for DeMocker's legal bills, according to Williams.

When Williams complained that the interview violated DeMocker's sixth amendment rights, Superior Court Judge Gary E. Donahoe issued an order that said, "Because of the conduct of Captain Rhodes," he would change the schedule to allow for a hearing in January.

The county retained Phoenix attorney Staton for Rhodes to avoid a conflict of interest, but Williams said that, because she had represented the county attorney's office in the hearings to determine whether it would be precluded from prosecuting DeMocker because staff had seen confidential documents, she could not also represent Rhodes.

Donahoe found no conflict exists. In his order, he also noted that Williams appeared to be delaying talking with Rhodes on the record about was discussed in his meeting with DeMocker.

"This court will not grant any further continuances," he warned. "Therefore, if Captain Rhodes' interview is not rescheduled and taken in sufficient time... the court will deem that (DeMocker's lawyer) has waived his right to conduct the interview."

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy.

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