Murder trials continued to February

OKANOGAN – The murder trials for Tansy Mathis, Brent Phillips and David Richards have been continued to the week of Feb. 9.

“Jury selection will begin that week,” Karl Sloan, Okanogan County Prosecuting Attorney, said. “That normally takes about a half a day, so this will probably take at least two days.”

Sloan said the motion from Mathis’ attorney for a change of venue is still pending.

“The issue can’t be determined until jury selection begins,” he added.

A visiting judge will be brought in from another county and Sloan said a judge from Chelan County is usually the visiting judge, but he isn’t sure who will be presiding over these trials yet.

The defendants are all accused in the murder of Michelle Kitterman on March 1, 2009. The final suspect, Lacey Hirst-Pavek, is set to begin her trial on Tuesday, March 9.

Mathis, Richards and Phillips are all charged with Aggravated First Degree Murder, Aggravated First Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Kidnapping. Mathis and Phillips are also charged with First Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence. They are being held in Okanogan County Jail for $1 million bail. Hirst-Pavek is 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 referencing 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. 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, 2009 and Phillips was arrested in Seattle on March 26, 2009. Richards turned himself in to the Spokane Police Department on Sunday, April 5, 2009 after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Tuesday, March 31. On Thursday, April 2, 2009 Hirst-Pavek was released on bail after being arrested on March 31.

All four defendants have pled not guilty to all charges.