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Sun, Dec. 15

Jail commander allegedly questioned DeMocker without lawyers present

Steven Democker

Steven Democker

PRESCOTT - Steven DeMocker, convicted Oct. 4 on charges that he murdered his ex-wife, was questioned by the commander of the Camp Verde jail without his attorneys present, Craig Williams, one of his lawyers, contends.

Williams makes the claim in a request that the Sheriff's Office turn over a videotape of the interview, which DeMocker said was done in the "video courtroom" of the jail. YCSO Captain David Rhodes, the jail commander, "pulled the defendant from his dorm to meet with him alone" on Oct. 14, Williams said. Rhodes initially wanted to ask DeMocker about interview requests from CBS and NBC News.

"The defendant told Captain Rhodes that he was still represented by attorneys, but Captain Rhodes did not stop questioning the defendant," Williams wrote.

Then, Williams said, Rhodes began discussing victim Carol Kennedy's life insurance payout that was given to attorneys in DeMocker's first trial to cover legal fees, for which he was charged with - and found guilty of - fraud.

"Captain Rhodes said that the first defense team got all of the life insurance money and let the defendant take the blame for it," Williams said.

Rhodes went on to say that "maybe this was a chance for the defendant to do something for his daughters" because the money spent on attorney fees was intended to be their inheritance, Williams said.

"Captain Rhodes claimed that the defendant had a chance to recover some or even all of the money for his daughters," Williams said.

Williams did not explain how Rhodes suggested that would happen.

Williams said the discussion violated De-Mocker's sixth-amendment rights.

Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher was not immediately available for comment.

DeMocker's next court appearance will be Nov. 13.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy

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