OKANOGAN – The murder trials for three of the defendants in the Michelle Kitterman case have been continued to Nov. 17.
“The trials were postponed in part because one of the defendants had a delay in obtaining a DNA expert that they wanted to use to observe testing, which has in turn delayed the testing,” Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan said. “We have moved to join two of the defendants’ cases for trial. So, if the motion is granted, they would be tried in the same trial.”
Sloan said the prosecutor’s office has moved to try Tansy Fae Arwen Mathis and David Eugene Richards together for judicial economy and because the cases have the same issues and the same witnesses.
Sloan added that the trial for Lacey Hirst-Pavek is still set to begin on Nov. 17 as well. Also being tried on Nov. 17 is Brent L. Phillips.
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 an 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 after midnight on Thursday, March 26. Phillips was arrested in Seattle around 10 p.m. on March 26. 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.