Originally Published: November 27, 2013 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Craig Williams, the attorney for Steven DeMocker, on Friday filed a request that the judge in DeMocker's murder trial correct his minute entry order regarding representation for a sheriff's captain embroiled in a controversy.
Williams claims that Yavapai County Sheriff's Commander David Rhodes, who runs the county jail, took DeMocker out of his cell on Oct. 14, after he'd been convicted on charges including the murder of his ex-wife, and "questioned" him without his attorneys being present.
Superior Court Judge Gary E. Donahoe granted Williams time to interview Rhodes, who is now apparently represented by Phoenix lawyer Georgia Staton. She also represented the Yavapai County Attorney's Office in its hearings on whether the county could prosecute DeMocker after its employees read confidential documents on his case, which Williams said constitutes a conflict of interest.
Donahoe's order lists a timeline of events that suggests the defense was slow in responding to the appointment of Staton, and notes that "this court will not grant any further continuances."
But Williams disputes Donahoe's timeline. In fact, he claims, by law, Staton does not represent Rhodes at all, because, although Donahoe said she filed a notice of appearance telling the court that she is his attorney on Nov. 14, Williams claims she hasn't filed one at all.
Williams also said that the defense raised this issue of a potential conflict of interest with Staton's appointment "within two business days," after she informed the firm by email that she would be involved.
He went on to add that he and co-counsel Greg Parzych did not cancel a planned interview with Rhodes set for Nov. 19, "knowing that Captain Rhodes 'was leaving (on vacation) on the 20th,'" as Donahoe said, but that Staton could not make that date.
"The defense objects to any characterization in the (minute entry) that it was dilatory in either the scheduling of the interviews of filing the motion," Williams said, and asked Donahoe to correct the filing.
Williams said that the date has been rescheduled.
Donahoe has set Jan. 8 for a hearing on the matter.
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