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sinkevitch

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.

Kathryn Sinkevitch will be tried for the murder of her former boyfriend. PCSO photo

The murder case against the Tempe woman accused of killing 31-year-old Michael Agerter in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado nearly one year ago is inching closer to trial.

Kathryn Sinkevitch stood in front of Pinal County Judge Steven Fuller Monday morning for a brief status review hearing. Fuller covered the case for Judge Kevin White, who was assigned to hear a separate trial that morning.

Representing Sinkevitch since late June was attorney Bret Huggins, who requested an additional status review hearing for a date soon after the New Year in preparation for a spring trial.

James Mannato, original attorney for Sinkevitch, withdrew from the case in June for an unspecified “conflict of interest.” Mannato is a public defender.

Huggins also asked Fuller to affirm the May 8, 2018, trial date.

Pinal County Deputy Attorney Sean Coll did not object, adding Agerter’s next of kin indicated they were available to attend court on those dates.

Sinkevitch will stand trial for four weeks in front of a 12-person jury. A grand jury indicted her with first-degree murder in late December 2016.

Sinkevitch has submitted a not guilty plea.

Coll tossed the possibility of a capital case in March citing a lapsed deadline. It was at that time Coll said the Pinal County’s Attorney’s Office would not offer a plea.

Agerter is linked to Sinkevitch by a 1-year-old child that was said to have been the center of a custody dispute between the pair. Agerter was found shot to death in his garage one month after the baby’s birth in the garage of his Maricopa home on Dec. 16, 2016.

It is unclear what Sinkevitch’s defense will be in trial.

In February, White approved the appointment of Susan Schoville with Valley-based Blue Core Investigative Solutions to “assist the defendant and her legal counsel in the investigation and development of her defense,” according to court documents.

Schoville began her investigation in June with Huggins, Sinkevitch and their 144-page case file. Schoville compiled an outline of the case including 911 calls and discovery videos presumably from the defendant’s work dated Dec. 16 through the 19th.

Sinkevitch will be in court again Jan. 9 at 9 a.m.

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.
By Michelle Chance
A trial date was set Monday for the Tempe woman charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Michael Agerter inside the garage of his Maricopa rental home in December.
Trial will begin for Kathryn Sinkevitch on May 8, 2018, at the Pinal County Superior Court House in Florence.
Public Defender James Mannato announced in court that, in agreeance with the prosecution, the trial will last four weeks with a 12-person jury. Sinkevitch will not be facing the death penalty.
Prosecutor Sean Coll said the defense “has been fine working on the trial date” with him, but could not comment further on the case. Mannato said there are “still many things to be done” in anticipation of the trial a little more than a year away.
In March, Judge Kevin White granted the public defender’s extension request to challenge the proceedings of the grand jury that indicted Sinkevitch with first-degree murder. However, after further review, Mannato said it was a fair presentation and there were no grounds to challenge.
He said of his client that Sinkevitch has pleaded not-guilty and should be presumed innocent throughout the process.
“I hope people take heed to that,” Monnanto said.
Sinkevitch shared a young child with Agerter, who was seeking custody of the then 1-month-old at the time of the murder.
A status review hearing is set for June 19 at 9 a.m.