PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Lawyers for a Prescott stockbroker facing a murder retrial say they won't allow his former defense attorney to give a deposition 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 last week that he wants to see Sears deposed over a key piece of evidence — a golf club cover — that allegedly was overlooked in the investigators' initial search.
Paupore 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.
DeMocker's current attorney, Craig Williams, said DeMocker "does not waive any of his rights concerning attorney-client privilege" and that "any communications between the defendant and Mr. Sears remain confidential and privileged."
Williams also said Sears doesn't know any more about the golf club cover and couldn't testify about it if he did.
Taking of a deposition from Sears "will add to the already burdensome time and cost of litigation of this case," Williams added in his response to Paupore's court filing.
The Daily Courier reported that Sears also filed an objection, claiming he couldn't be ready with documentation for an expedited hearing. He has requested that he be given until Aug. 11 to file a response with the court.
A court-imposed gag order prevents both parties from discussing the case publicly.