A jury has convicted a Prescott stockbroker of first-degree murder in the golf-club bludgeoning death of his ex-wife.
The Yavapai County Superior Court jury also convicted Steven DeMocker of six other charges related to the 2008 death of Carolyn Kennedy:
Burglary in the first degree
Two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices
Conspiracy to commit a fraudulent scheme
Tampering with physical evidence
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
The verdict was read Friday morning after jurors concluded their deliberations late Thursday.
DeMocker faces a maximum sentence of natural life in prison on the murder conviction.
Prosecutors contend that DeMocker killed Kennedy at her home because he was deep in debt, wanted the insurance payment and didn't want to pay alimony.
DeMocker's defense team told the jury that authorities did not properly investigate Kennedy's death. They tried to deflect attention away from DeMocker and toward a man who lived with Kennedy at the time but who has since died.
Prosecutors acknowledged they had no evidence tying DeMocker to the crime, a confession or eyewitnesses. But they said circumstantial evidence should be enough to send him away to prison for life on first-degree murder and other charges.
DeMocker once floated a story about a "voice in the vent" at the Camp Verde jail in May 2009 who he said told him his ex-wife was "killed by two guys from Phoenix." Investigators concluded that DeMocker made it up.
After Kennedy's death, DeMocker tried to claim the $750,000 life insurance payment but the insurance company wouldn't make the payout directly to him because he was a suspect. The insurer gave the payout to his daughters only after DeMocker disclaimed it.
During the trial, DeMocker's mother, Janice, testified that the money went to defense lawyers in his first trial. That legal team quit, citing a conflict of interest, and the trial abruptly ended in late 2010.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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