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Monday, August 22, 2011

Ray Case Affects Other Big Murder Trial

Pssst....following the James Arthur Ray sweat lodge trial? There's another very interesting case seated in the exact courtroom and I happen to know that it's coming to a TV near you.

A USB stockbroker named Steven DeMocker is accused by Yavapai County of a very bloody murder.

Steven DeMocker
Camp Verde Murder Defendant Steven DeMocker--shares a judge with James Arthur Ray

DeMocker's ex-wife--the divorce had gone through just about 3 months before--was found clubbed to death in the couple's former home, in which she was still living. Very sadly and very Hollywood, the former Mrs. DeMocker was on the phone to her mother when she exclaimed "Oh, no!" and the line went dead. In Tennessee, Carol Kennedy's mother frantically sought help and Carol was found in an ugly scene with her skull bashed in.

The case has been wrapped in many layers of mystery, including the discovery of unknown DNA under Kennedy's fingernail in what seemed to be evidence of a defensive action against her attacker. DeMocker, who is accused of killing her to get out of expensive alimony and other divorce-related financial obligations, did not match that DNA and his defense vigorously claimed that was slam dunk evidence exonerating him.

However. The DNA eventually was traced to a man who had no connection whatsoever to Kennedy or DeMocker. In fact, he had died within 24 hours of Kennedy in the same county and had certainly been in no condition to beat anyone to death. He had died of bleeding from failed heart surgery. "In the same county" is the key part--his remains were taken to the same facility as Kennedy's were. His DNA could only have ended up under her fingernail as a result of cross-contamination of the fingernail clippers used by lab personnel.

In spite of the lab snafu, and it certainly is not what anyone wants to see in a murder trial, the cause of death has been confirmed by an outside medical personnel, including Maricopa County's forensic anthropologist, Dr. Laura Fulginitti. Yes, "forensic anthropologist" is the same profession made famous by actress Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan in Bones. Real-life bone lady Fulginitti happens to also have done the very gruesome examinations in the dismemberment case in my book, WHAT SHE ALWAYS WANTED about convicted killer Marjorie Orbin.

(click to buy link below)
In my experience with Dr. Fulginitti, if she says a golf club was the murder weapon, you should probably start looking for golf clubs. And in this case she does. Fulginitti's science testimony is, in my experience, a courtroom treat. Her science always flows, as the scientists like to say, "elegantly." In other words, in her hands 1 + 1 always equals 2 and then, voila, you can see that 2 for yourself.

There are many other twists and turns to the DeMocker story and it has caught the attention of national shows that have been in the same obscure Camp Verde courtroom for the James Ray trial. Shhhhhh!!! Don't tell where you heard it, but look for the DeMocker case on a national show coming soon!

Jame's Ray's Judge Warren Darrow is presiding over the DeMocker trial. In the last few days, the also troubled DeMocker case has been kicked upstairs to the presiding judge for possible re-assignment. Trouble is....that Camp Verde Courthouse staff is very small. There's Darrow, the presiding judge himself and only one other who can be considered for the DeMocker case. Presumably, the other two also have heavy workloads but only Darrow has the uber-complicated, unprecedented and Beverly Hills-defended sweat lodge case. (Attys had argued Darrow was too tied up with the James Ray case to give enough time [and courtroom space] to the DeMocker case.)

ADD: If you want to talk about the Ray case, the discussion has gravitated to this post. Join in or start a new thread here. :)


  1. Thank you for writing about this case. I live in the small community where the crime took place, and knew these people casually. I would be very interested to know what show might be airing a cover story and when. I have followed this case from day one, before the newspaper had covered it. The phone lines were lit up with the news of a very well liked, creative, loving and beautiful woman's murder. The case has had had more twists and turns than could be believed. Many of us are crossing fingers that a technicality doesn't stop the trial from going forward.

  2. DeMocker has some of the very top criminal attorneys in Arizona on his case, so expect a very vigorous defense. Sorry this case touched you personally. That's exactly why I write True Crime, so many people are affected, telling the stories helps resolve the shock. A violent death takes the breath out of everyone near by. We have to process

    As for the TV show featuring this case, not sure they'd be happy if I let the cat out of the bag so soon. TV is a very competitive business! Let's just say it's a major, major show. Watch this blog and I will be sure to name the real name when it comes a little closer to being on the air.

  3. Hmmmm....tried my hand at html tags above. One worked, one didn't. Here is the second link.
    why reading True Crime makes you human

    Fingers crossed!

  4. Ms. Kimball, I hope you write about the DeMocker case. While I noted the original newspaper coverage, I did not start following the case until the first trial was beginning and I discovered the court website where I could get information unfiltered. I love legal dramas and this one certainly has a lovely, sympathetic victim, beautiful daughters and a narcissistic suspect. Plus layers of intrigue. Sounds like your kind of story!

  5. Thank you for your response. I will check in with your blog for information about the show. Two major networks were filming during the first trial that ended abruptly last year when it was discovered that DeMocker had allegedly created false evidence for his third person culpability defense. His original defense lawyers, who are some of the top criminal lawyers in the state resigned causing a mistrial. The defendant allegedly created the story of hearing a "voice in the vent" at the jail that told him specifics about the murder. One month after the "voice" the lead defense lawyer was sent an anonymous email detailing the murder. A witness came forward to reveal the "voice" and the emails were fabricated by DeMocker, and sent by his minor daughter. He has been charged with an additional 7 felonies and another charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    There is much to this story and it will be interesting to see how it is presented on a crime show.