On Tuesday, Kathryn Sinkevitch’s friend, Bridget Hopkins, testified at her first-degree murder trial.
Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec. 16, 2016. Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.
Prosecutors claim Sinkevitch used Hopkins’ Chrysler Town and Country minivan during the commission of the murder.
Hopkins said the white minivan was her sole vehicle at the time of the murder, and her only means of transportation. It was seized as evidence in the case by Maricopa Police on the day of the murder, and Hopkins has not been allowed to use or even see the vehicle since that day.
Hopkins maintains if Sinkevitch did use her van in the commission of murder, it was without her knowledge.
Hopkins said she first met Sinkevitch in October 2015 when they were in the same company training group at the mortgage company where they both worked.
They started out as just co-workers but then became friends by April 2016, she said. She added they had conversations about Agerter after he and Sinkevitch broke up.
Hopkins told the court, “it was not a peaceful breakup” and Sinkevitch knew she was pregnant. She said Agerter didn’t want to be involved with the child at first.
Hopkins said she hung out with Sinkevitch a “couple times a week,” usually at Sinkevitch’s apartment. She said she and Sinkevitch were also thinking about getting a place together to save money.
On the day of the murder, Hopkins said she drove her van to work. She saw Sinkevitch at her desk later in the morning and said Sinkevitch was “staying at her desk for lunch.” Hopkins said she went to Wendy’s for lunch.
Hopkins said her keys and an employee badge were in her purse and said Sinkevitch never asked to borrow her van that day and she didn’t know if she borrowed it or not.
Hopkins said there was nothing unusual about the van when she got in it and left for home at 5 p.m. on the day of the murder.
Hopkins told the court, Sinkevitch came over to her house in Mesa that evening about 6:30. They cleaned the backyard and were getting ready to have a bonfire when the Maricopa Police showed up 30 to 40 minutes later.
Sinkevitch was taken into custody, locked in the back of a police car for several hours in Mesa and transported to Maricopa for questioning that evening. Early the next morning, Sinkevitch came back to Hopkins’ house after being released from Maricopa Police Department about 2 a.m.
Hopkins told the court they went to bed, and Sinkevitch got up early the next morning and went home to get a few things.
She said only later did she find out that Sinkevitch was not being truthful about not leaving the office the day of the murder. Sinkevitch drove her to work on Monday and Tuesday following the murder, but Sinkevitch didn’t work Tuesday.
Hopkins said police showed her the videos of Sinkevitch leaving the mortgage company and the white van at the murder scene.
She said police also pressured her into having a phone call with Sinkevitch, telling her they would name her as an accomplice.
Prosecutors showed Hopkins photographs of her van Tuesday at the trial. Her black hoodie was on the passenger side floorboard in the photographs. Hopkins wore the hoodie outside when she left the day of the murder for lunch, according to the company’s video recordings.
Under cross examination by defense council and redirect by the prosecutors, Hopkins said police pointed their guns at her and her children the night of the murder, when they were clearing the house in Mesa, and this upset her.
Hopkins also said it was not her walking across the street to Agerter’s house from the white van in the video.