Murder trials continued to April

OKANOGAN – The murder trials for three defendants in a March 2009 murder case have been continued until April 6 while one defendant remains set to begin trial on March 9.

Lacey Kae Hirst-Pavek, who has been charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Manslaughter of Michelle Kitterman and her unborn child on March 1, 2009, is set to begin her trial on Tuesday, March 9.

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 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 Sunday, March 1, 2009, 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.

Mathis was arrested in Spokane after midnight on Thursday, March 26, 2009. Brent Phillips was arrested in Seattle around 10 p.m. on March 26, 2009. David 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, 2009. On Thursday, April 2, 2009, Hirst-Pavek was released on bail after being arrested on March 31, 2009.

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 County Jail for $1 million bail. All four defendants have pled not guilty to all charges.

Mathis and Richards have been consolidated together so when Mathis’ attorney’s request for a trial continuance from Feb. 9 was granted, Richards’ trial was continued as well. Phillips’ attorney also requested a continuance in order to prepare for the trial.

Prosecuting attorney Karl Sloan said Phillips has not been consolidated with Mathis and Richards because he made incriminating statements against the others which would affect his own trial.