PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Prosecutors in a Prescott stockbroker's murder trial have asked a judge to order a former defense attorney to give a deposition as a material witness in the case.
John Sears is one of two attorneys who quit Steven DeMocker's case in October, citing a conflict of interest. The move triggered a mistrial in November.
DeMocker, 56, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, with a golf club in July 2008 to avoid paying hefty alimony bills.
He faces a life sentence if convicted. His retrial is scheduled to start Sept. 7.
Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Jeffrey Paupore said in a court document filed this week that he wants to see Sears deposed over a key piece of evidence that allegedly was overlooked in the investigators' initial search — a golf club cover.
He said when the county medical examiner suggested that Kennedy's wounds resembled the shape of a golf club, the county Sheriff's Office executed a second search warrant to retrieve the golf club cover, but couldn't find it.
Paupore said when DeMocker was arrested in October 2008, he told investigators he had given the cover to Sears and deputies retrieved it from him.
Sears "secreted" the golf club cover "for over three months without informing law enforcement," Paupore said.
He also claims Sears was involved in the distribution of Kennedy's life insurance money.
Paupore said Sears "had personal knowledge" that DeMocker "controlled" $700,000 of the proceeds, due to having assigned trusteeship to a close friend, during the time Sears argued to the court that DeMocker was broke.
Paupore has requested that county Superior Court Judge Warren R. Darrow order a deposition in court and on the record.
Sears declined to comment, citing ethical rules, but said he would respond to the motion.
"I will have a great deal to say about this case, but this is not the time," Sears told The Daily Courier. "Mr. DeMocker deserves a fair trial."
DeMocker's attorneys have yet to issue their response, and a court-issued gag order prevents either side from talking publicly about the case.