OKANOGAN – DNA testing on a hair sample for the Michelle Kitterman murder case will be done within the next 60 days.
The time limit was set during a hearing in the Okanogan County Jail In-Custody Courtroom, overseen by Judge Christopher Culp.
“The concern is testing will consume the sample,” Culp said. “The state has moved to conduct testing with the defense attorneys present with their expert or experts.”
Prosecuting attorney Jennifer Richardson said she spoke with Ronald Hammett, who is representing Lacey Hirst-Pavek, and they came to an agreement to do the testing within 60 days, which she said means it will be done by Sept. 15. She said the testing will be done by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab on a hair sample.
“There is an agreed order for lab testing and consumption of evidence,” Culp said.
“The crime lab advised me they are probably going to have to use the whole sample because they have to amplify it to get enough DNA anyway,” Richardson told Culp.
“I think the main point is that the testing is done on a mutually agreed upon date,” Hammett said.
Mike Haas, representing Tansy Fae Arwen Mathis, said he intends to enter an order which would be virtually identical to the one Hammett and Richardson agreed upon.
“[Anthony] Fry and I intend to share an expert because we have common interests,” Haas added.
Fry is representing David Eugene Richards, along with Sunshine Poliquin. Brent L. Phillips’ attorney, Alan White, said he will be getting his own expert and anticipates an exact same order as well.
As of this hearing, none of the defendants had filed requests for a change of venue or for an outside judge. Mathis, Richards and Phillips are all currently set to begin their jury trials on Sept. 22 while Hirst-Pavek, who is out of custody on $250,000 bail, is set to begin her jury trial on Nov. 17.
Mathis, Richards and Phillips are all being charged with Aggravated First Degree Murder, Aggravated First Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Kidnapping. Mathis and Phillips are also being charged with First Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence. They are all being held in Okanogan Jail for $1 million bail. Hirst-Pavek is being charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Manslaughter.
According to court documents, Kitterman was having an affair with Hirst-Pavek’s husband, Daniel Pavek, and was pregnant with his child. Hirst-Pavek allegedly made comments that she wanted Kitterman “taken care of.”
Through the investigation, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department determined that Hirst-Pavek eventually made contact with Mathis regarding Kitterman and over several meetings, in Okanogan County and Spokane, they came to an agreement for Mathis to take care of Kitterman for $500.
On Sunday, March 1, the body of Kitterman was found in the driveway of 193 Stalder Road in the Pine Creek area south of Tonasket. According to court documents the autopsy’s preliminary results indicated the cause of death was homicidal violence and that Kitterman was about 11 weeks pregnant.
Mathis was arrested in Spokane on Thursday, March 26 and Phillips was arrested the same day in Seattle Richards turned himself in to the Spokane Police Department on Sunday, April 5 after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Tuesday, March 31. On Thursday, April 2, Hirst-Pavek was released on bail after being arrested on March 31
All four defendants have pled not guilty to all charges.