A judge has warned lawyers that he might declare a mistrial in the case of a Prescott stockbroker accused of killing his ex-wife.
Three lawyers for 56-year-old Steven DeMocker were granted permission last week to withdraw from the case for what they described as ethical reasons. Those reasons remain under seal.
Two other lawyers have been offered up as DeMocker's new attorneys. But one believes he might have a conflict and asked for a week's delay to determine if he does, while the other doesn't know yet whether he might have conflicts.
The local public defender has said his office has conflicts and cannot represent DeMocker.
Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow said the two new lawyers told him it would take them months to get up to speed to defend DeMocker in the complex case.
The jury has been waiting for seven weeks now for the trial to resume.
Prosecutors said DeMocker bludgeoned ex-wife Carol Kennedy in July 2008, with a golf club, to avoid paying hefty alimony bills. He faces a life sentence if he's convicted.
DeMocker's family members has said they were confident DeMocker would be cleared of the charges against him.
Prosecutor Joseph Butner III blamed the defense for the delays and said the prosecution would oppose a mistrial that the judge might declare.
Larry Hammond, one of DeMocker's outgoing defense lawyers, denied that defense lawyers caused the delays and said that the outgoing lawyers have an interest in finding new attorneys who don't have conflicts
Darrow scheduled another status conference in the case for next Friday.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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