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Veronica and Corey Masterson were indicted by a grand jury. PCSO photos

 

A Maricopa couple accused of 10 counts of child abuse appeared in Pinal County Superior Court Friday and hinted at a change of plea.

Veronica and Corey Masterson were indicted by a grand jury on three counts of child abuse in December. Since then prosecutors have upped the charges to 10 counts.

Friday, defense attorney Cody Weagant asked the court for a continuance of the case for 60 days, so they might enter into a settlement conference with prosecutors and possibly a plea arrangement. He asked the court to schedule a change of plea conference on Friday July 19 at 9 a.m.

According to the police probable-cause statement in Veronica Masterson’s case, three children were removed from the couple’s home. During an interview with Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), one of the children said, “When my dad wants us to shut up, he ties a rubber band around our head and then tapes our mouths shut. They’re always hitting us, and my mom kicks us.”

The child told investigators her parents smoked cigarettes and “something else” that she described as white. When asked by DCS investigators about the father, she said, “I don’t like him. He is so mean to us. He is always hitting us and tells us to shut up. He ignores us and doesn’t want us to talk.”

The girl also told investigators when she was grounded, she was not allowed food or water and she hid a water bottle in her backpack. After talking to investigators, she pleaded with them not to tell her parents what she said as she didn’t want the water bottle taken away, according to police documents.

“They don’t feed us, and we get super starving,” one of the children told investigators.

In the probable-cause statement, the DCS also informed Maricopa Police the mother is currently pregnant, and both parents failed to consent to drug testing.

Other allegations included spankings with paddles and belts and the older children being forced to take care of the younger children while the parents were out all night “doing bad stuff,” according to the probable cause statement.

The couple lost an infant child in 2013, and Veronica Masterson’s four oldest children perished in a fire last year in Illinois.

The father, Corey Masterson, 36, was taken to the sheriff’s office adult detention center Dec. 19, the day of the indictments against him and his wife. At the time of his wife’s arrest a week earlier, he had been taken to a Casa Grande hospital complaining of kidney stones.

 

On Saturday afternoon Rudolph Simarro was arrested by Maricopa Police for Driving under the influence of alcohol and domestic violence disorderly conduct.

“Rudolph (Simarro) was stopped for failing to stop for the stop sign coming from McCord Drive onto Duncan Drive,” an officer wrote in their probable cause statement. “As I was speaking with Rudolph, a reporting party called Maricopa Police and reported a vehicle matching the description of Rudolph’s vehicle was seen driving erratically on West Neely Drive.”

Simarro told officers he had been in a verbal argument with his daughter and an officer noticed he had scratches on his arm. He told police they were from a brush with a bush.

The officer asked him to step out of the vehicle and noticed a strong odor of alcohol. Simarro allegedly told police he had two beers.

A field test was conducted, and officers observed two indicators of impairment.

While tests were taking place on Simarro, another team of officers went to where his daughter was located on West Neely Drive.

She told police Simarro was driving erratically up and down Neely Drive and left skid marks on the roadway and curb.

She said that he tried to get into the house, but she wouldn’t let him in “due to him misbehaving due to being drunk.”

She told police he had been staying at her house for the past month and that he attempted to break into the house when she wouldn’t let him inside, eventually getting in and physically fighting with her, her mother and a brother.

She said Simarro left once but returned, “to collect his items but got into physical altercations again.”

Simarro was arrested and charged with DUI with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08 and domestic violence disorderly conduct.

Shortly after midnight on May 12, Maricopa Police contacted Nathan Dickerson and his girlfriend sitting in a vehicle near Rosa Drive and Miranda Way.

An officer asked Dickerson if he had any alcohol in the vehicle.

“Nathan (Dickerson) stated, ‘No,’ and then he reached in his pocket and gave officers a small baggie of cocaine,” an MPD probable cause statement reads. “Nathan, a short time later, disclosed that there was a plate and rolled-up dollar bill with cocaine on them. A search of the pickup truck was done and a white plate with a white powdery substance on it and a rolled bill nearby with white residue on it. Field testing was completed and showed positive for cocaine.”

Dickerson was charged with suspicion of possession of a dangerous drug, cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to MPD, and released at the scene.

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Michael Dematteo, 37, was arrested by Maricopa Police Monday on suspicion of having dangerous drugs, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

About 2 p.m. a Maricopa Police officer was on patrol near Meghan Drive and Arizona Avenue when they identified a green van travelling at a high rate of speed. The officer attempted to get behind the van to run a license registration and “as soon as I pulled behind the vehicle it sped up and ran the stop sign,” the officer wrote in a probable cause statement.

The van stopped when the officer engaged their vehicle’s emergency lights.

Dematteo was identified as the driver of the van. He was wanted on a City of Maricopa warrant with a $500 bond.

During a search, officers allegedly located a broken pipe that appeared to be a methamphetamine pipe. A white substance was identified inside the pipe which later tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the report.

He was arrested and booked into the Pinal County Jail. He remains there pending the posting of a $2,500 secured bond and a $200 cash only bond.

Anthony Moore (PCSO photo)

Anthony Moore, 21, of Maricopa, wanted to fight the employees of a fast-food restaurant Monday morning but he went to jail instead.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause report, the manager of the McDonald’s restaurant on North John Wayne Parkway called police just before 10 a.m. The manager said there was a disruptive man in the restaurant who was trying to fight with employees.

“Once the male exited the store, the male grabbed a rock and threw it at the entrance door, shattering the door,” an officer wrote in the report.

One of the employees said the man who threw the rock was her ex-boyfriend. Employees said the man was yelling, “F— you, I am a gangster; you are afraid to call the police.”

The employees also told police the man was the driver of a black Lexus that was registered to Moore, who lived on West Alamendras in Maricopa. Officers located Moore at his home and promptly secured him in the back seat of a patrol car.

“During the ride back to the station, Anthony (Moore) stated, ‘I didn’t know the rock would break the glass.’ Once back at the police station, I asked Anthony if he was cursing at employees. Anthony stated he does not curse or get mad, he gets ‘paper.’ I asked what that meant, Anthony says he gets paid,” the report reads.

Moore was charged with criminal damage, disorderly conduct and driving while suspended. He was booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Michael Johnson (PCSO photo)

 

Michael L. Johnson was arrested by Maricopa Police Friday morning after he allegedly bit his girlfriend during an altercation.

According to an MPD report, a verbal argument was going on between Johnson and his live-in girlfriend at 4 a.m. on the backyard patio of their residence on West Cydnee Drive.

“During the argument, Michael (Johnson) took her LG cellphone from her hands,” the probable cause report reads.

She attempted to get the phone back, and a physical altercation began.

“During the physical altercation, Michael bit her on her left arm near elbow, causing minor redness in the shape of a bite mark,” the report reads.

She told officers after the physical altercation, Johnson threw her phone on the ground and broke the screen. Johnson told officers the phone accidently fell during their physical altercation.

“Michael stated he took the phone because it’s the only thing he has control over her with,” the report reads

Johnson was booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Family thanks all who helped in 'two-year ordeal'

Kathryn Sinkevitch was convicted of murder Tuesday after a day of jury deliberations.

Despite defense attorney Bret Huggins claims, prosecutors do not believe there are grounds to appeal the conviction of  Kathryn Sinkevitch.

“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict because it is entirely consistent with the evidence presented at trial,” Pinal County Attorney’s Office Major Crimes Bureau Chief Shawn Jensvold said after  Sinkevitch was found guilty of first-degree murder this week.

Immediately after the verdict on Tuesday, Sinkevitch’s counsel made it clear they intend to appeal.

A jury convicted 34-year-old Sinkevitch in the 2016 death of Michael Agerter in Maricopa. Jensvold and Deputy County Attorney David Ahl led the prosecution.

“The evidence, which was both direct and circumstantial, pointed directly to Sinkevitch, and there is no reason to suspect that anyone else killed Michael,” Jensvold said.

The Agerter family released a statement through the Pinal County Attorney’s Office:

“On behalf of Mike’s friends and family, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to everyone involved in achieving this verdict. From the first officer on site that continuously talked to Mike even though it was clear he was gone, through the ranks to Detective [Michael] Dennison, Deputy County Attorneys David Ahl and Shawn Jensvold, we thank you. The behind-the-scenes effort, work and support given by Paralegal Christine Forbes and Victim Advocate Sonia Campos were incredibly invaluable to our family throughout this two-year ordeal. The team spent countless hours away from their families so ours would finally attain peace. Also, to the jurors who were tasked with making the painful decision of enacting justice for Mike. He took every legal precaution to protect himself and was trying to do the same for his child. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. Mike’s attempt to protect the child he never met escalated her aggression towards him, ultimately leading to his death.”

On Dec. 16, 2016, the City of Maricopa Police Department received multiple 911 calls of shots fired at a home on Sagebrush Trail in Rancho El Dorado. When police arrived on scene they discovered 31-year-old Agerter shot in the head and back. Agerter was seated in his car, parked in his garage.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police soon discovered Agerter was on the phone with his younger sister at the time he was murdered.

Agerter had a home surveillance system at his residence. After watching some recorded footage, detectives saw what appeared to be a female subject walking quickly from a white minivan parked diagonally across the street from Agerter’s house just after he pulled into his garage.

The subject was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and shoes, gloves and carrying papers in one hand with a bag draped over her shoulder. The subject was outside the views of the cameras briefly, then reappeared and scurried back across the street to the white minivan and sped away. Police ran a background check on Agerter and discovered that he had been in several legal disputes with Sinkevitch.

Agerter and Sinkevitch were romantically involved until they broke up in March 2016. In April 2016, Agerter was granted an order of protection in Maricopa County Superior Court against Sinkevitch. Records show Agerter made efforts to conceal his new address from Sinkevitch. Police also discovered Agerter filed a motion to establish paternity and requested parenting time with his and Sinkevitch’s son, who was born in October.

Agerter never saw his son before he was murdered, and the paternity results later confirmed he was the boy’s father.

During the investigation, police tracked Sinkevitch to a residence belonging to her friend and co-worker. Sinkevitch’s gray Mitsubishi Mirage and her co-worker’s white Chrysler Town and Country were parked outside the residence.

The van appeared identical to the van seen on Agerter’s home surveillance system.

Sinkevitch’s co-worker denied driving to Maricopa during the afternoon of Agerter’s murder. Sinkevitch claimed she was at work all day. However, upon reviewing workplace surveillance video, detectives discovered Sinkevitch had left in the middle of the day.

Police confirmed Sinkevitch had ample time to drive to Agerter’s house, commit the murder and return to work. Police arrested Sinkevitch in Avondale on Dec. 21, 2016, after receiving a tip. Witnesses told police Sinkevitch owned a handgun, but a gun was never located.

“We agree with defense counsel’s assessment that the defendant received a fair trial. As reflected by the fact that they deliberated over two days before returning a verdict, it is clear that the jurors took their responsibilities very seriously. However, we disagree that any legal errors were committed during the trial that are likely to result in the defendant’s conviction being overturned on appeal,” Jensvold said.

Sinkevitch will be sentenced on June 6, at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse. With capital punishment off the table, at that time she will receive a natural life sentence.

Seth Post, 26, was arrested by Maricopa Police May 2 on accusations of forgery, theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.

According to a police probable cause statement, a man reported two of his checks were missing on May 1 and on the morning of May 2 one of them cleared his bank and was written for $110.

The check was written in payment to Post, who is his stepson.

The man provided copies of the allegedly forged check to Maricopa Police. Officers determined the signature on the check did not match the account holders signature.

The man also discovered his debit card had been used to pay for an Uber ride on April 28 for $39.74.

Post was contacted by police at Copper Sky Park and allegedly admitted to taking the checks and attempting to cash one, according to the probable cause statement. He also admitted to the use of the card to pay Uber, the report states.

 

Ruben Alcocer, 25, was arrested April 29 on an aggravated charge of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), having a blood alcohol level of .20 or more and failure to give officers a truthful name.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, Alcocer was driving north on Porter Road about 11 p.m. and speeding. An officer believed he was going about 65 in a 45-mph zone.

The officer stopped the vehicle near the intersection of Porter and Homestead Drive.

The officer said the driver told law enforcement his name was Henry Alcocer. During the investigation, the officer determined his name was Ruben, not Henry.

“While speaking with Ruben, I could smell a strong order of intoxicating liquor coming from the vehicle. I asked Ruben how much he had to drink, and Ruben stated ‘nothing.’ I asked Ruben to exit the vehicle,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement.

After giving Alcocer field sobriety tests, he was placed under arrest and transported to the Maricopa Police Department and advised of his Miranda warnings.

Alcocer allegedly admitted to drinking at the casino and said he had consumed seven Blue Moon beers, according to the probable cause statement. Alcocer also said he knew his driver’s license was suspended for unpaid parking tickets and that he had a prior arrest for DUI on March 1, 2017.

 

Kathryn Sinkevitch was convicted of murder Tuesday after a day of jury deliberations.
Michael Agerter

A seven-woman, five-man jury convicted Kathryn Sinkevitch of first-degree murder Tuesday in Pinal County Superior Court.

Sinkevitch was convicted 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 maintain the murder occurred because Sinkevitch did not want to share custody of the child with Agerter and the two were involved in a court battle, including DNA testing.

Agerter was murdered just hours after submitting DNA samples at Labcore.

After a little more than a day of deliberations, the jury handed down its decision shortly after 4 p.m.

As the verdict came in, Agerter family members let out a loud gasp of relief while Sinkevitch sat and seemed unaffected by the verdict.

She sat and drank water as the jury handed out her fate.

As Agerter’s mother Leslie Agerter left the courtroom, she said, “I’m just glad that it is finally over.” She and her family sat through every day of the long trial.

“Obviously, I am disappointed,” said Sinkevitch’s defense counsel, Bret Huggins. “There are some legal issues that have to be raised. I think we got a really good jury. I think they did a real good job. It is not over yet, but I am very disappointed that the jury saw the case differently than I did.”

Huggins said sometimes circumstantial evidence can be compelling, but he claimed the evidence in this case was not very strong.

“The circumstantial evidence in this case is, ‘We can’t tell who it is, and people are excluded.’ I’m disappointed, but that’s personal. I got a fair trial. My client got a fair trial. We think there have been legal errors made and we want to raise them in the appropriate court,” Huggins said, adding those issues will be in reference to how he believes his client’s constitutional rights were violated.

Judge Kevin D. White set the sentencing date for Sinkevitch as June 6 at 9 a.m.

More to come …

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.

Monday the jury heard closing arguments and received instructions in the murder trial of Kathryn Sinkevitch at Pinal County Superior Court.

Sinkevitch is charged with first-degree murder 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 maintain the murder was because Sinkevitch did not want to share custody of the child with Agerter and the two were involved in a court battle, including DNA testing.

Agerter was murdered just hours after submitting DNA samples at Labcore.

“The defense wants you to believe it could have been anyone who have committed this murder,” prosecutor Shawn Jensvold told the jury. “The person who executed Michael would have known that he was coming home that afternoon. That person also must have had some severe hatred of Michael. Execution, that’s what happened. It doesn’t make sense that it was just anyone who did this.”

Jensvold said Sinkevitch intended to kill Agerter. “That is the essence of first-degree murder.”

He said it wasn’t just one piece of evidence in this case that showed guilt but a culmination of evidence.

Jensvold discussed motive and Agerter’s unwillingness to be a part of his son’s life in the beginning but later changing his mind.

Agerter even filed for custody, and this angered Sinkevitch, according to Jensvold.

“She was so consumed with hatred for Michael … She decided murder was her only option,” Jensvold said.

The prosecutor also discussed opportunity and knowledge. He said Sinkevitch knew Agerter was to undergo DNA testing and also knew his appointment was at 1:30 p.m. that day. She left from work to murder him just an hour after receiving information about when his DNA tests were to be done, according to Jensvold.

He discussed Sinkevitch’s plan to commit the murder, saying that was why she didn’t use her work identification badge to open doors that day and used a friend’s vehicle to commit the murder.

“Why was Kathryn so careless?” Jensvold asked the jury. “How reasonable was Kathryn’s mindset at this time? The bitterness stayed with Kathryn, and she wasn’t thinking clearly.  A reasonable rational person doesn’t commit murder in the first place. He (Agerter) didn’t want her to know where he lived, and she hired a private investigator to get that information.”

He discussed DNA, soil sample and gunshot residue tests that were inconclusive.

He said the person on video at Agerter’s house was similar in stature to Sinkevitch, and the van in the video was also similar to the one Sinkevitch used that day.

Jensvold said Sinkevitch lied about what she did the day of the murder and said she didn’t take a lunch. She clearly is seen on camera leaving work that day for about three hours.

“Consider all the evidence in light of reason, common sense and experience,” Jensvold told the jury. “This can’t just be anyone. The real question is to flip it around – who else could it be besides the defendant? Who else had the motive? No one that we know of. None of the evidence has suggested that in any way. Who else had the opportunity? Who else knew specifically where Michael was going to be after returning from Labcore at 1:30? Who else would be so consumed with their hatred of Michael and self-absorbed to the point that they were willing to execute Michael and leave his family with a picture like this that they have to remember him by?”

He said normal people participate in the legal process when they have a custody problem like this.

“You don’t just go out and execute them in their garage,” Jensvold said in closing.

The defense then had their turn at closing arguments.

“This case is a circumstantial case. There is no direct evidence. There is no direct witness against Kathryn Sinkevitch,” defense attorney Bret Huggins said in his closing arguments.

Huggins said DNA is the gold standard of evidence and two DNA experts testified Sinkevitch’s DNA was not found anywhere on any evidence in the entire case.

Huggins said investigators never tested the van for gunshot residue, only two pieces of clothing that were in the van and only three microns of gunshot residue were found. A micro is 1/20 the size of a human hair he said.

Huggins said the state clearly has not proven their case against Sinkevitch.

The DNA that was found on a hair in the van didn’t match Sinkevitch, Huggins noted.

Huggins said there was no forensic firearms information available in the case. He said the soil samples in the case don’t match. He said they don’t know what size shoe made a shoeprint at the murder scene.

Huggins maintained that Sinkevitch didn’t drive the van seen at the murder scene in videos.

“Is that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, is it?” Huggins asked the jury.

Huggins also questioned the credibility of the witnesses in this case.

“Some witnesses are just not credible,” Huggins said.

He said the case against Sinkevitch doesn’t fall together. Huggins concluded that Sinkevitch has been left with the burden to prove she didn’t commit the murder but in fact it is the state’s burden to prove she did it.

“Who caused the death of Michael Agerter?” Huggins said.

Huggins cautioned the jury to maintain their individual judgment about the case and not to be swayed by the thoughts of other jury members during deliberations.

“Too often juries become a committee of one,” Huggins said. “You get 12 people in there, a foreman is chosen and everybody else quits having any participation. The jury system doesn’t work that way. We need all of you to participate.  We are entitled to your individual judgment.”

While giving the state’s final rebuttal, prosecutor David Ahl said there is no distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence.

“There’s no dispute the defendant owned a gun, yet no gun was ever found in her apartment,” Ahl said. “None of this evidence proves that Kaythryn Sinkevith wasn’t the shooter.”

He said there is no reasonable doubt who killed Agerter.

“There is no real possibility that it was someone else on Dec. 16 who jumped from that van to kill Michael Agerter,” Ahl told the jury. “For that to be true that it was someone else, Kathryn Sinkevitch would have had to have left work in Bridgett Hopkins’ van for no reason whatsoever after not clocking out, despite having her own car there. Just under an hour after leaving work her phone would have had to go dead. In this period, with her cellphone turned off for two hours, Michael Agerter was murdered. Michael Agerter was murdered just over an hour after she turned off her cellphone.”

Ahl said Sinkevitch had the motive and opportunity to kill Agerter.

“She planned it out and tried to hide her tracks,” Ahl said. “After it was over you have her telling lies that she was at work all day. You have her searching her computer on how to turn off 911 tracking on her phone. This defendant was not ready to share her child with its father because it would make her life more difficult.”

About 3 p.m. Monday, Judge Kevin D. White gave the jury their final instructions and sent them to deliberate Sinkevitch’s fate after three of the 15 jurors were selected as alternates and physically excused.

Francisco Salazar (PCSO photo)

Francisco Salazar, 30 of Maricopa, was arrested April 28 by Maricopa Police on charges of molestation of a child and sexual conduct with a minor.

According to an MPD probable cause report, a woman contacted police saying Salazar sexually assaulted her daughter “as recently as a few days ago at their residence.”

Apparently, according to the report, Salazar admitted having sex with the minor to at least three people.

“A forensic medical exam was conducted at the San Tan Family Advocacy Center, where the forensic nurse noted an abdominal vaginal exam,” the report states. During a forensic interview it was determined “this had been happening frequently over a long period of time.”

A search of where Salazar lived in Maricopa was conducted, but he was not present. It was determined he was in Mesa and was contacted by phone by a family member. He agreed to return to Maricopa for an interview with police. He was picked up by a family member and brought to the Maricopa Police Department voluntarily.

During the interview, Salazar allegedly admitted to an officer several sexual acts with the minor, according to the report.

He was arrested and booked in the Pinal County Jail, where he is held on a $250,000 bond.

MPD arrested three suspects after a lengthy investigation in Alterra. Photo by Jim Headley

On Wednesday, Maricopa Police served a search warrant on Costa Brava Avenue in the Alterra subdivision and arrested three people for dealing methamphetamine.

Arrested were Brian Hopkins, 31, Colby Valdes, 23 and Rosario Harris, age unknown.

Brian Hopkins (left) and Colby Valdes (PCSO photos)

“We served a search warrant on a drug house that we have been working on for the last three weeks,” said MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. “We were able to make three arrests and recover methamphetamine out of the house. It was a small quantity; however, it was packaged for sale.”

Alvarado also said the suspects had scales in the house and garage.

“We were able to get some money out of it for the amount that they were selling,” Alvarado said. “There were two people arrested there that had warrants and the main individual we were looking at who was actually doing the sales out of the house.”

 

Photo by Jim Headley

Soil samples were part of the evidence gathered at the crime scene in 2016.

Tuesday, Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial entered its fourth day with the testimony of geologist forensics examiner Jody Webb from the FBI Crime Lab.

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.

Webb has 21 years’ experience as an FBI geologist forensics examiner.

One of her co-workers performed soil comparison test around Agerter’s house. The co-worker could not testify Tuesday due to illness, so the FBI sent Webb who works with her and also validated these test results.

The FBI analyzed three items, a driver’s side floor mat from a vehicle believed to be used by Sinkevitch during the commission of the murder and soil from a two shoe prints at the scene of the murder.

The whole floor mat from the suspect van was sent to the FBI to be tested.

The soil samples from the floor mat and the shoe prints were compared and tests concluded the soil was different on the mat than both of the soil in the shoe prints at the scene.

The soil makeup of the two shoeprints were also different when tested by the FBI lab. Webb said it is very possible for the samples to be different and still taken in the same area.

Persecutors showed Webb a video showing a suspect wearing a dark hoodie going into the garage and walking across the areas that were tested when Agerter was murdered in the garage.

The soil samples were taken three days after the murder.

Under cross examination, defense attorney Bret Huggins noted that the soil samples don’t match and are eliminated as the source of the soil on the floor mats. Webb, the FBI analyst, agreed.

The soil samples were eliminated, she said.

 

Arizona Auditor General released the full report Tuesday of an embezzlement investigation that led to the indictment of Maricopa resident Suzanne Perkins, 56, former office administrator and governing board clerk for Thunderbird Irrigation Water Delivery District of Pinal County No. 2.

The district serves farmers on 720 acres in western Pinal County and is governed by a three-member Board of Trustees. One of the trustees is Perkins’ husband.

Perkins was the District’s office administrator and governing board clerk from 1998 until her resignation in 2013. She was responsible for all accounting functions, including signing warrants, which was also a duty of the Board of Trustees.

Perkins was indicted by a grand jury in February. According to the audit, from March 2006 to October 2012, Perkins allegedly issued 232 district warrants (checks), with 99 of them with at least one forged signature, for personal purposes totaling $278,371.

“Specifically, Ms. Perkins paid for $172,569 worth of personal credit card, District credit card and District line of credit charges and issued warrants totaling $105,802 payable to her family members that were deposited or endorsed to her and her husband’s joint personal checking account,” the Auditor General’s Office stated.

Perkins is accused of spending the money on personal purchases like air conditioner repair, stone countertops, appliances, kitchen cabinets, swimming pool filters, items from the grocery store, roofing materials, paint, a home theater system, MP3 players, personal computers, home furnishings, carpet and rugs, a riding lawn mower, health and beauty products, tattoo shop services, clothing, bridal store items, fabric and crafting supplies and pet care.

“From August 2007 through July 2012, Ms. Perkins issued 105 unauthorized District warrants (i.e., checks) payable to her husband and two of their sons totaling $105,802,” Auditor General Lindsey Perry said. “Available bank records show 100 of these warrants totaling $102,698 were deposited in her and her husband’s joint personal checking account. All warrants issued to Mr. Perkins are included in this report because he was not a District employee and he reported to us that he was never paid for any District-related work. He further stated that any work he performed was as a volunteer or as a member of the Board of Trustees, and he does not remember ever receiving a check… Of these 105 warrants, 63 had at least 1 Board of Trustee’s forged signature.”

The Auditor General’s report also recommended the irrigation district take steps in the future to prevent this from happening again.

“The District’s former Board of Trustees did not establish controls to ensure District monies were properly safeguarded. In fact, no written policies for financial processes existed,” the report states. “Ms. Perkins’ husband, who was also a trustee, participated in related-party transactions. In particular, he participated in hiring two of his sons and signed warrants payable to family members, including his wife.”

The auditor general recommends the district:

  • Supporting documentation for all expenditures is independently reviewed and determined to be appropriate and for District purposes prior to payment.
  • Financial duties are properly separated. For example, a person not authorized to sign warrants should record the expense in District records, and another person not authorized to sign warrants should ensure accuracy by comparing District records to canceled warrants.
  • Financial transactions are independently verified. For example, a person not authorized to sign warrants should receive treasurer statements directly from the county or use digital access to compare county records to District records and ensure transactions are accurately recorded and reconciled to treasurer statements. The Board of Trustees should immediately investigate and resolve any discrepancies noted in reconciliations.
  • Related-party circumstances and potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed in writing on at least an annual basis, and participation in associated transactions is appropriately restricted.

According to the Auditor General’s Office, the information in the report was submitted to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, which then presented it as evidence to a grand jury Feb. 27. Perkins was indicted on nine felony counts.

Perkins is scheduled to be arraigned in Pinal County Superior Court on May 3.

 

Michael Agerter was killed at his home, and prosecutors believe the van used belonged to Kathryn Sinkevitch's friend.

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.

Scene of the murder on Sagebrush Drive in Rancho El Dorado Dec. 16, 2016.

 

Anthony Daniels, a former co-worker of murder suspect Kathryn Sinkevitch, told a Pinal County Superior Court jury she sat and cried the afternoon the murder occurred after she returned to work.

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.

Daniels worked at a mortgage company in Tempe in the support department with Sinkevitch. They worked together about two years before the murder, he said Tuesday as he testified at her trial. He was the second of her former co-workers to testify about her behavior the day of the murder in what has so far been a circumstantial case.

Daniels said he communicated with Sinkevitch daily at work.

He said she was very close to co-worker Bridget Hopkins and they would have lunch together. Sometimes he would also get involved in the conversations between them as he sat near Sinkevitch.

He said Sinkevitch was good at her job and was a diligent worker, adding she spoke about her child and how she was going through a custody dispute with the child’s father.

On the day of the murder, Daniels said Sinkevitch behaved normally in the morning. He said she mentioned that the father of the baby had to take paternity tests and said Sinkevitch joked about borrowing his baby for the DNA tests.

He said he went to lunch at noon the day of the murder, and Sinkevitch was not there when he got back a 1 p.m. He said she had an extended lunch that day, but he didn’t know when she did return. He also didn’t know when she left.

He thought she was probably gone a couple hours.

He said she was very quiet when she returned from lunch and was crying. Hopkins, he said, came over to talk with her.

Daniels said Sinkevitch had cried before at work but not often. He told the jury Sinkevitch just sat there and cried that afternoon, which was unusual behavior.

 

Maricopa Police arrested a woman April 27 on suspicion of domestic violence assault after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend.

According to an MPD probable cause statement, Briana Duvall assaulted her boyfriend after he did not answer his cellphone when she called him. His reason was simple: His battery was dead.

Police were called to the front yard of his residence on West Knauss Drive just after 10 p.m. as she was screaming at him on the front porch. She allegedly struck him on the left side of his mouth with a closed fist and scratched him on the right side of his neck.

The officer answering the call, reported several abrasions on the side of the boyfriend’s neck and a small cut on his lip. Duvall was later located on Butterfield Parkway at Edison Road and allegedly admitted to the assault, according to the probable cause statement.

She was placed under arrest and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Mark Henderson Jr. (PCSO photo)

 

Mark Henderson Jr. was arrested by Maricopa Police April 25 on suspicion of domestic violence disorderly conduct on West Giallo Lane about 6:30 p.m.

According to a police probable cause statement, officers responded to the address after Henderson’s daughter called police saying her father was causing a disturbance.

Police dispatch overheard Henderson say, “you better not have called the police because something will happen,” the report stated.

The report stated Henderson forced his way into the girl’s room and began “throwing her furniture out.”

He allegedly threw her mattress out of the room and damaged her night stand. He is also accused of hitting her younger brother and throwing more household items.

Henderson’s wife said he had cleaned up the thrown items before police arrived.

Henderson admitted to police he had become angry and that he also threatened to throw his daughter out of the house. He said he was also upset his son was misbehaving in school.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

 

A former co-worker of Kathryn Sinkevitch testified Monday overhearing her say “it would be better” if the victim in her first-degree murder trial “wasn’t around.”

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.

Jared Cook, now living in Show Low, said he worked at the mortgage company where Sinkevitch was employed at the time of the murder. He was a loan processor but switched to join the support team and worked directly with her.

He told the jury he often heard Sinkevitch talking to her friend Bridget Hopkins about Agerter, the father of her child.

He said Sinkevitch would tell Hopkins, “It would be better if he wasn’t around.” He claimed the two had conversations like this almost daily and sometimes they appeared to be quite serious and it would “make him uncomfortable at times.”

He said he talked to Sinkevitch about shooting guns once at work, and Sinkevitch said she owned a gun.

The day of the murder, he recalled, Sinkevitch and Hopkins were talking a lot in the morning and then she was gone for a while. Cook said Sinkevitch didn’t say where she was going when she left for lunch but said she was gone “two or three hours.”

Cook added a normal lunch break was 30 minutes on a Friday because they were so busy “trying to get work done before the weekend.”

He said when she returned the afternoon of the murder, she was quiet, which was unusual for her.

 

9mm or 40-caliber? Prosecutors questioned witness over handgun in murder case.

 

A man who briefly dated murder suspect Kathryn Sinkevitch took the witness stand in the first-degree murder trial as it entered its fourth day Monday.

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.

Nathan Trotter, of Surprise, said he met Sinkevitch on Plenty of Fish, an Internet dating website and application. After knowing each other online for about a week, in early November 2016 they met in person at a bowling alley. He said she had her infant child with her.

“We saw each other a few times after that,” he said.

They were just getting to know each other and were intimate, he told the jury. The relationship lasted until mid-December.

“It kind of fizzled out,” he said.

Trotter said Sinkevitch talked about the “father of her child” and said they were going through a custody battle. He said it affected his willingness to see her again after a while.

“It was a lot more drama than I was willing to get involved with,” he said.

They also talked about guns one day at her house. He said guns are “a hobby of his.” Trotter is also ex-military and was in the U.S. Army infantry.

The day he went to her house, he saw a pistol sitting on the living room coffee table when he entered her home. He picked it up and “cleared it” to make sure it was safe.

There was a round in the chamber and more bullets were in the magazine, he testified.

He said it was a “gray-colored, lower-end” handgun. He said it he believed it was a 9mm handgun, and he carries a 40-caliber handgun. When questioned by prosecutors, he said it could have been a 40-caliber gun.

Prosecutors have not located the murder weapon in this murder case, but it was determined to be a 40-caliber handgun.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

 

Monday, Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial entered its fourth day with the testimony of Matthew St. Clair of the Phoenix Police Department Trace Evidence Section of the crime lab.

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.

St. Clair positively linked gunshot residue to two black hoodies found in vehicles investigators believe were used by Sinkevitch in the commission of the murder. St. Clair analyzes gunshot residue, foot prints and tire tracks, etc., for criminal investigations.

When analyzing gunshot residue, he examines compounds in the bullet’s primer. The primer creates an explosion and expels particles, which are left on hands, clothing and fabric. The compounds are unique to the primer.

“If we find these particles on hands, they have been using a firearm recently,” he said.

St. Clair tested one of the black hoodies in this case July 20, 2017. He sampled the left and right pocket, cuffs and sleeves of the hoodie to test.

He said he found numerous particles on the right and left side of the hoodie but only one “characteristic particle residue” that was directly linked to gunshot residue on the garment.

“This hoodie was in the vicinity of a firearm when it discharged or touched something with GSR on it,” since the hoodie’s last thorough cleaning, St. Clair said.

A second black hoodie was tested July 24, 2017. There were some residue particles on the right and left but not as many as on the other hoodie, St. Clair testified. It had similar particles on it.

Under cross examination, St. Clair said he can’t determine what type of gun left the residue and can’t determine caliber of the weapon. He admitted only “characteristic particle residue” directly linked to a gunshot was found on each hoodie.

Judge Pro Tem Jack Pritt of the Western Pinal Justice Court found Wayne Miller guilty of 14 counts of animal cruelty following a bench trial on Feb. 15. Miller was sentenced on April 10 to 60 days jail and three years’ probation and is not to possess any animals during that time period.
During the trial, evidence revealed Miller had 14 dogs locked up at his rural Maricopa property. Upon executing a search warrant, Animal Control Officers found layers of animal feces, trash, torn furniture, car batteries, and other items littering the property. Additionally, officers noted there was no drinkable water and food was intermixed with feces and trash lining the floor. The dogs were aggressive to one another and were clawing their way at the interior walls that led to the outside. A carcass of one dead dog was food for other dogs on the property.
Deputy County Attorney Chad Heywood prosecuted the case.
“The conditions these animals were kept in was deplorable, and my goal in this prosecution was to make sure no other animals had to suffer the same fate at the hands of this defendant,” Heywood said.
This was the second animal cruelty conviction for Miller. His first conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred in October 2017. He was convicted on his first offense in May 2018.
If you suspect animal cruelty, please contact Pinal County Animal Control at 520-509-3555. For calls after hours, please contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (inset) is accused of murdering Michael Agerter at his home on Sagebrush Trail in 2016.

The second day of Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial opened with the testimony of Maricopa Police Sgt. Daniel Rauch.

The day was filled with police officers telling the jury about their investigation into the murder of Michael Agerter. During testimony of a Maricopa Police detective, photographs of the murder victim were openly shared to the jury and the victim’s family.

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old 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.

The initial call of shots fired that day came across radio at 2:28 p.m. Police also were told about a white van leaving the murder scene. Rauch testified how he saw a white van at Honeycutt Road turning south on Hartman right after the call came in. He stopped the vehicle with two female occupants in it.

He said the van was stopped based on the description of the suspect van from the murder scene, and he didn’t believe the two women were involved in the shots-fired call.

He then went to the scene of the crime. He was part of the team who cleared the house.

Rauch said he observed at least one video camera on the outside of the house when he arrived at the scene and he noticed a digital video recorder during a search of the house.

He discovered the victim was involved in a custody issue with Sinkevitch during initial stages of the investigation.

Defense attorney Brett Huggins suddenly asked for a sidebar in chambers just 15 minutes into Rauch’s testimony, and Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin D. White removed jury. The court was recessed while attorneys from both sides talked.

The sidebar discussion was over linking the Bridgett Hopkins van to Sinkevitch via a license plate reader. The license plate reader linked a van belonging to Hopkins, Sinkevitch’s friend, to the area of the murder. Police believe the van was used in the murder and still have it in the impound lot.

Judge White placed a limit on the prosecution’s questions regarding the license plate reader.

After the jury was returned to the courtroom, Rauch said he got information about Hopkins’ van in Mesa and Sinkevitch’s cellphone information.

Police requested a pinging of her phone to find her from her cell phone provider. Sinkevitch was in Tempe, based on the pings, Rauch said. A team of law enforcement officers drove from Maricopa to Tempe to find Sinkevitch, but her location kept changing.

Sinkevitch was finally located in the area of Hopkins’ house in Mesa, based on the cellphone pings. Officers found Sinkevitch’s vehicle in Hopkins’ driveway, along with the van they believe to be used in the murder, Rauch said.

He said officers put together a plan to capture Sinkevitch in the house, as she was already a suspect at the time. Officers had their guns drawn but not aimed at the suspects when they came out of the house in Mesa, he testified.

Officers detained Sinkevitch to conduct an interview with her, and she was placed in a patrol car after being handcuffed, according to Rauch. She was in the vehicle “for a couple of hours” in handcuffs. She was then taken to the Maricopa Police Department for interrogation.

Rauch said additional search warrants were drafted a few days later to locate Sinkevitch after she was let go. At that point, she was wanted for the murder.

Detective Michael Dennison, a Maricopa Police detective for seven years, testified he was called to the murder scene about 10 minutes after the initial call came in.

He said Agerter was found dead of gunshot wounds. He was slumped over the wheel of his Lexus with the motor running in the garage of his house. Dennison also said Sinkevitch’s name came up as a potential suspect within 15 minutes during a background check of the victim.

Dennison was at the victim’s house for eight to nine hours investigating.

He said there was a DVR in the house, and he viewed the footage from four cameras set up around the house.

He explained the video showing a woman, wearing a hoodie, running in front of the house, into the garage, stay for 10 to 11 seconds and then leaving. The video also shows a white minivan drive away after the shooting.

He said the camera angles were from above and did not recorded the face of the person running into the garage.

He said two 40-caliber shell casings were found in the garage during the investigation.

Dennison said he later viewed an interview with Sinkevitch. She told police she was at work all day and didn’t even leave for lunch.

Dennison said surveillance video from her work contradicts Sinkevitch’s statements of not leaving the building. She is allegedly seen leaving at 12:30 or 12:45 and returning three hours later, about an hour after the murder occurred.

The video from the mortgage company where she worked was also used to get a search warrant of her apartment.

During a search, investigators didn’t find a shoe that fit a shoe print found at the murder scene. The shoes Sinkevitch had on when she was first arrested at Hopkins’ place were also examined. The pattern did not match the print found, but the shoe was the right size, he testified.

No shoes matching the print at the murder scene were found.

Dennison attended the victim’s autopsy, and then also examined data related to Sinkevitch’s cellphone. The data traces the cell phone as it moves.

Her cellphone’s historical data information showed Sinkevitch leaving from work at 12:30 the day of the murder, he said. It tracked her to a location near her apartment in just 15 minutes. It was at that location until 1:30 when the phone was apparently turned off. The data continues missing until 5 minutes before Sinkevitch returned to work at the mortgage company.

Police searched Sinkevitch’s vehicle and discovered two license plates that were not associated with her vehicle or Hopkins’ van. Dennison said the plates were from an area near Sinkevitch’s apartment but did not say if they were stolen.

Prosecutors showed images of the crime scene, including photos of the victim dead in the car. Dennison said two of three gunshots fired hit the victim. One round hit the pillar between the front and rear door. Family members began weeping when seeing the pictures.

Dennison said Sinkevitch’s cellphone disappeared from data collection at 1:13 p.m. that day. He testified that he drove suspected routes he believes Sinkevitch could have driven in the commission of the murder. He drove 27 miles from Sinkevitch’s apartment to Agerter’s house in 35 minutes. He left Sinkevitch apartment at 1:07 p.m. and arrived at 1:42 p.m. during the test on Jan. 12, 2017.

In another test, the following day, Dennison said he tried another route and made the trip in 45 minutes and it was 26 miles.

Dennison also made a test trip from the mortgage company where she worked to Sinkevitch’s house. He made the trip in 10 minutes. His test trips between the mortgage company and Agerter’s house took 47 minutes at 31.8 miles.

He said Sinkevitch was “very capable” of getting from work to her house to Agerter’s house and back to work during the time she left work on the day of the murder. Dennison said he never broke the posted speed limits on the roads he tested.

Dennison examined the ADOT traffic patterns on the day of the murder, and there were no recorded traffic problems on the routes during the timeframe involved.

Maricopa Police Detective Mario Palacios testified he arrived at the scene at 4:15 p.m. that day, and other detectives brought him up to speed.

He spoke with a potential witness in the neighborhood. He viewed the home security video and noted seeing a female walking up to the house wearing a dark hoodie and tan pants. She was gone for 10-11 seconds and was then seen leaving in a hurry on the video. He said part of a white van was visible across the street. When the van took off, he said, it is wasn’t possible to see who was in the van.

Prosecutors then showed the video to the jury.

Palacios said on the day Sinkevitch was arrested, he searched Hopkins white van and found a dark hoodie in the van.

Kyle Sobotik, Sinkevitch’s supervisor at the mortgage company, testified Sinkevitch worked for the support team, helping loan officers with problems.

He said Sinkevitch was a very good worker and he had no issues with her. He also said it was unusual for her to be gone for an extended time when she was supposed to be at work.

Sobotik said Sinkevitch “didn’t seem all with it” the Monday following the murder, which occurred on Friday. He said she “kind of looked like a ghost.”

He said he checked her emails from that Friday, the day of the murder, and found more than a two-hour gap, and “that wasn’t like Kathryn. It kind of stood out.”

He said she also didn’t clock out for lunch that day.

Under cross examination, Sobotik said he didn’t see anything “strange” on the day of the murder in the office but he added he wasn’t looking for it.

Roy Rankin, a co-worker of Sinkevitch, was a member of the sales support staff when the murder occurred.

On the day of the murder, Rankin said he sat next to Sinkevitch and said they interacted with each other all the time. He said she was very knowledgeable and kind of “carried the workload of the team.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch talked about her ex-boyfriend, Agerter, and the custody of the baby. She told Rankin that Agerter was getting a DNA test and added, “she wasn’t very happy about it.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch asked him if he knew anyone who had a baby she could borrow for the DNA tests. Later under cross examination he said she did not think she was joking and, “if I would have had a baby, I think she would have taken me up on it.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch was late back from lunch on the day of the murder and kept to herself after she got back. He said she was clearly distracted that afternoon.

At 5 p.m. when the office closed for the day, Sinkevitch left right away. He said she normally would stay and make sure all the work was done for the day.

The trial will reconvene Friday at 10:30 a.m.

MPD personnel at the scene of the crime in 2016.

 

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.

The jury was seated Tuesday and opening arguments took place before Judge Kevin D. White Wednesday morning in Pinal County Superior Court in the first-degree murder trial of Kathryn Sinkevitch. 

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec16, 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 

The 15-member jury, including alternatesis made up of eight women and seven men.  

After lunch, Maricopa Police officer Andy Leach described the murder scene to the jury and explained how officers cleared the house after finding Agerter’s body in his vehicle. He said one of the neighbors had multiple activations on their Ring doorbell and recorded video between 2 and 3 p.m. that day.  

The officer was emailed copies of the videos. One was recorded at 2:27 p.m. and when he was asked what it showed, Sinkevitch’s defense attorney Brett Huggins objected. Defense and prosecution attorneys went into chambers to discuss the objection away from the view of the jury.   

The objection was over the prosecutor asking if the video showed a white minivan driving in front of the neighbor’s house. White overruled the objection after the behindclosed-door discussion.  

The officer said he did see a white minivan on the video drive in front of the house at 2:27 p.m. Prosecutors believe Sinkevitch was driving that minivan. 

The prosecution team showed photographs of the murder scene to the jury and the location of several shell casings in the garage where Agerter was murdered. The photographs also showed a digital video recorder that was installed in the house. 

Huggins had no cross examination of the Maricopa Police officer for the defense. 

The prosecution also called Sarah Marie Cooley, who worked with Agerter at Wells Fargo. 

Cooley said she communicated via text with Agerter the morning he was murdered. She met him for lunch that day and arrived at his house at 11 a.m.  

They ate and talked a while and he told her he was going to have DNA tests that afternoon to determine if the child Sinkevitch gave birth to was his child. She said he seemed frightened of taking the medical tests.  

Cooley said she was supposed to meet up with him that evening and talk about the test. She also provided Sinkevitch’s name to officers at the scene of the murder as she went there when she couldn’t locate him. 

The defense had no cross-examination questions for Cooley. 

The next witness to take the stand was Maikayla Lyon, a neighbor. She told the jury she heard some gunshots the day of the murder 

I heard three loud bang, bang, bangs,” she said. 

After hearing the shots, she then saw a white van drive past in front of her house at a high rate of speed. She said the shots she heard clearly sounded like gunshots from a handgun. 

“I ran out to the street as the van flew by,” she said. 

She said the large side passenger door of the van was open and the inside of the van was dark. She tried to get the license plate number on the van, but it was going too fast. 

She also said she didn’t know the victim or the suspect in the case. 

Under cross examination, defense attorney Huggins got her to say it was a Ford or Chevy minivan she saw. The van police believe Sinkevitch used was a Chrysler. 

Under redirect questioning by prosecutors, the witness admitted she probably could not tell the difference between a Chevy, Ford, Chrysler or Honda minivan. 

Doug Schamberg, who oversees IT operations where Sinkevitch works, took the stand next 

He spoke about RFID badges, which employees use to enter the building, and the surveillance cameras in the building.  

Schamberg discussed company records detailing when Sinkevitch and Bridgette Hopkins were in the building based on the RFID badges opening security doors. He said there was also surveillance video recorded on the day of the murder showing Sinkevitch entering the building using a RFID badge at 3:20 p.m. but her badge was not the one used to open that door, according to the company’s computer system, at that time.  

His testimony indicated Sinkevitch was out of the building at the time of the murder that day and had ample time to return to the office in Tempe.  

Video footage from the surveillance camera at Agerter’s home showed a school bus driving past the house before a figure entered camera range from across the street. It was apparently a female in a hoodie that obscured her identity. 

The person left camera range by walking into the garage. A few moments later, the person left quickly, crossing the street and getting into a white caravan, which left the scene. 

The trial will resume Thursday morning and it is expected to continue through May 6.  

Karla Felix was arrested by Maricopa Police on suspicion of assaulting her boyfriend April 20.

According to a police probable cause statement, Felix was placed under arrest shortly before 7 a.m. after she allegedly admitted slapping her boyfriend “on the face after finding him in bed next to her sister.”

The report continues, “The incident occurred at her mother’s residence, located on North Braden Road. Karla (Felix) continued to try and attack him which caused her to scratch his right arm when he was attempting to defend himself by holding her down.”

The sister told police Karla Felix “became upset with him at Walmart and slapped him twice on the face” about midnight. She told police, while at her mother’s residence Felix came into her room and started an argument with the boyfriend, who was also apparently in the bedroom.

 

Jose Martinez-Romero was arrested by Maricopa Police on April 17 on suspicion of domestic violence assault.

Police responded to a residence on West Nina Street, where a woman told officers her husband, Martinez-Romero, slammed her against a wall and had his hands around her throat.

The incident began, according to the woman, when she confronted him about cheating on her, according to a police probable cause statement.

The report states when confronted, Martinez-Romero grabbed her and “pushed her up against the bathroom door in the master bedroom.”

After he allegedly choked her, she walked out of the room and called police. An officer noted observing “irritated skin on the upper chest portion” of the woman in the report.

Martinez-Romero told police, she “began slapping him with a sandal and punching him lightly on his left side.”

He told police he grabbed her and pushed her against the bathroom door after being antagonized.

According to the probable cause statement, he was arrested and charged for domestic violence due to the visible injuries.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin D. White decided the constitutional rights of murder suspect Kathryn Sinkevitch were not violated during the investigation to arrest her.

The decision comes down less than a week before her murder trial, which is set to begin on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Florence.

Bret Huggins, attorney for Kathryn Sinkevitch, moved to suppress a phone call that police recorded in connection with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter in December 2016.

At an April 10 evidentiary hearing White listened to a defense motion to suppress an audio recording, claiming it was in violation of the suspect’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights.

Sinkevitch is accused of shooting Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

Judge White made several decisions at the evidentiary hearing on April 10, including precluding any reference to an abortion of the child the two had together and the victim’s drug use and toxicology reports as he did have a medical marijuana card.

White approved evidence in the case related to the defendant’s and victim’s relationship history, the defendant’s knowledge of the victim’s address by hiring a private investigator to find him, paternity tests and protection orders.

White also approved the defense council’s motion for 100 additional hours of a defense investigator’s time.

 

Chad Campbell (PCSO photo)

 

Chad Campbell was arrested April 9 by Maricopa Police for possession of a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers conducted a traffic stop at North Wilson Avenue and Edison Road shortly before 10 a.m.

The driver of the vehicle, Tiffany Jaun, was wanted on a warrant from Casa Grande. She also admitted to having drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, according to the police probable cause statement.

Campbell and Ashley Holt were identified as passengers in the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a 50-milliliter alcohol bottle with a broken pen case protruding from the side. Officers described it as a common device used to inhale drugs.

“Officers also located a small baggy with a white powdery substance within the baggy located underneath the passenger seat,” the probable cause statement reads.

Ashley Holt (PCSO photo)

The substance later tested positive as methamphetamine.

Campbell was arrested, charged and taken to the Pinal County Jail. Holt was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.