Accused killer Steven DeMocker and his ex-wife Carol Kennedy both struggled with finances after their divorce, which caused extreme friction between the two, a fraud examiner testified Friday at the Yavapai County Courthouse.
On the fourth day of the evidentiary hearing surrounding Kennedy's murder, Richard Echols said DeMocker and Kennedy argued extensively about money in a slew of e-mails during the months, weeks and days leading up to the victim's death on July 2, 2008.
Prosecuting attorneys accuse DeMocker, 55, of bludgeoning Kennedy to death with a golf club at what was their Williamson Valley home. The state is seeking the death penalty for DeMocker, a former financial advisor, based on five aggravating circumstances, including pecuniary gain.
On July 1, 2008, the day before Kennedy's death, e-mail correspondence between DeMocker and Kennedy indicates she complained about not receiving a second alimony payment of $6,000, money she was entitled to from her ex-husband and had planned to use to pay down debt.
She also could not afford to take over the mortgage on the couple's house, where she was living by herself after the split.
Essentially, prosecutors allege DeMocker killed Kennedy to avoid paying her $6,000 per month - $576,000 total - in alimony and to keep her from receiving a share of a 401K plan after the divorce.
Echols said Kennedy had a job but could not pay all of her bills. She was relying on DeMocker for help. However, Echols testified that DeMocker penned in a March 13, 2008, e-mail that he was unable to pay off his debts on five credit cards and he had borrowed $50,000 from his father.
Echols added that DeMocker's income shrunk by 30 percent in the first six months of 2008 when compared with the same timeframe the previous year. He estimated DeMocker owed creditors $160,000 in 2007.
To cover his shortfall, Echols said DeMocker tried to get money from the company he worked for, Phoenix-based UBS Financial Services Inc., and made a premature withdrawal of $89,000 from an IRA. Prosecutors say Kennedy also had two separate life insurance policies, including one for $250,000 that would go directly to DeMocker if Kennedy died.
The next time you're tempted to run up the credit cards to buy crap that you can't afford, think about where that got Steve and Carol.
Greenspan's Body Count stands at 112:
Debra K. Gibbs
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Betty J. Lipply
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Dallas Dwayne Carter
Lt. Michael Howe
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Edwin F. Rachleff
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw