Hirst-Pavek murder trial set to begin Nov. 1

OKANOGAN - With the defense's latest motion for a trial continuance denied, the murder trial for Lacey Hirst-Pavek is set...

OKANOGAN – With the defense’s latest motion for a trial continuance denied, the murder trial for Lacey Hirst-Pavek is set to begin jury selection on Monday, Nov. 1 at Douglas County Superior Court in Waterville.

Hirst-Pavek will be tried on charges of first degree premeditated murder and first degree manslaughter that are the results of her alleged involvement in the murder of Michelle Kitterman and her unborn child in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 1, 2009.

“Given all the pre-trial publicity, there was a reasonable chance she couldn’t receive a fair trial in Okanogan County,” Ron Hammett, Hirst-Pavek’s defense attorney, said. “We asked to move the trial to the west side of the state, but the judge decided on Douglas County.”

A response to the defense’s motion for a trial continuance was given on Thursday, Oct. 7, denying the motion.

The movement of the trial from Okanogan to Waterville was one the prosecution opposed.

“There are nine factors to be considered when moving a trial,” Jennifer Richardson, assistant prosecuting attorney, said. “We felt they were not present and that it was premature to move the trial because we feel you can’t determine a jury is biased until you try to find an unbiased jury.”

According to court documents, Kitterman was having an affair with the defendant’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 Tansy 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 March 1, the body of Kitterman was found in a driveway 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.

On Tuesday, May 11, two suspects in the crime, Tansy Mathis and David Richards, received their sentencing for the guilty verdicts brought down on them at the end of April.

Mathis received the top range of sentencing for her crimes. On count one, aggravated murder in the first degree, Mathis received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. On count two, first degree manslaughter of an unborn child, she received the top range of a sentence of 78 to 102 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. For count three, kidnapping in the first degree, Mathis received the top range of a sentence of 51 to 68 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. Finally, for count four, tampering with physical evidence, she received one year.

For Richards’ first count of second degree murder, he received a mid-range sentence of a 165 to 265 month sentence range, which comes to 215 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. For his conviction of manslaughter of an unborn child, Richards was sentenced a mid-range sentence from the range of 111 to 147 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon.

The sentencing for Brent Phillips, who plead guilty to premeditated murder in the first degree, manslaughter of a quick child in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence on Monday, March 29, has been continued by council and has not yet been scheduled.

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