Triple murder case dismissed, judge blames prosecutor

The triple murder trial of Kitage Lynch has been dismissed after the judge ruled that prosecutors were “playing games” with the rules “rather than actually properly preparing [the] case for trial.”

Parker Live has been following developments in the case since the killings near Salome, AZ in April 2016. Three elderly winter visitors were found dead, and Lynch was quickly named a person of interest and then a suspect.

After a conviction for other charges in Maricopa County, Lynch was sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Corrections in Yuma. He’d begun serving that sentence when last month he was transported to Parker to face trial for the three murders in La Paz County.

But on Friday, Judge Matthew Newman ordered the Sheriff’s Department to send Lynch back to Yuma, dismissing his lawyer and the case against him in La Paz County for now, and chastising the prosecutor, Deputy County Attorney Karen Hobbs, for not being ready to bring the case to trial.

In reference to Hobbs’ motion to designate the case as “extraordinary” and to grant an exemption to speedy trial rules, Newman wrote, “At that hearing, it became apparent to the Court that the State had done very little to actually prepare the case for trial since obtaining the indictment over a year ago, and denied the State’s motion.”

Newman’s suggestion was that Hobbs simply dismiss the case, take the time to prepare it while Lynch was serving his 15 years in Yuma, and then re-file the case when ready. But, Newman’s order says, “in a complete turn of events [the State] says it will be ready for trial within the time limits.” The order continues:

“The state does not mention how its’ 81 witnesses can possibly be ready for trial by October 15, 2018, a short 41 days from its’ request for trial, much less how the defense is supposed to be even remotely ready as it will have to react to each fresh disclosure as it comes out in a piecemeal fashion.”

“It appears obvious to this court that the state is more interested in playing games with the speedy trial rules than actually properly preparing its’ case for trial. By suggesting a truncated presentation of the evidence in its’ possession, the rights of the victims and their families are put in serious jeopardy. Moreover, the rights of Mr. Lynch to fairly confront the evidence against him and prepare his case for trial will suffer if he is somehow supposed to prepare his case ‘on the fly’. The state has already admitted in open court that they are not even close to being ready to present their case.”

Newman finishes by saying that his court “will not sit by idly while unprepared attorneys try to rush a case to trial because they don’t want to admit that they are unprepared.”

His ruling then orders the defense attorneys dismissed, the next hearings vacated and the Sheriff to transport Lynch back to Yuma to serve his sentence.

The case can be re-filed at any time.

The entire order is included below.




12 comments

  1. This is the kind of thing that just makes my blood boil.

    Story after story about how broke La Paz County is, meanwhile precious taxpayer funds are squandered housing/transporting a convicted felon to/from Yuma due to basic incompetence.

    Meanwhile, three victims’ families are forced to again wait for justice SMH.

  2. I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens – President Donald J. Trump

  3. You know she has been reprimended by the state bar for her antics and she’s still employed as Chief Deputy County Attorney. I guess she has to be an amazing attorney to manuver that.

  4. Carol Wilson

    Department of incompetence.

  5. Paula Hunter

    Karen Hobbs was lead prosecutor. If you cant efficiently do your job as an attorney how does one expect to be a good judge. Huge mess in the making. She has also violated victim rights several times over… MINE. Actually threatened me with prosecution because she was investigated by AZ Department of Victim Rights. She seriously needs to go back to her last job as a librarian. I picketed the Co Attorney office every morning for 1 year, to bring attention to the circus and to her incompetence and refusal to follow the laws of our nation and the State of Arizona. In that year, they sure had a lot of pot lucks while the citizens of Parker pay her extraordinary salary.id be happy to expound.

  6. Paula
    Most citizens are blind to the incompetence of Hobbs and The County Attorney and dismissed your picketing until u puked and moved away. The local superior court system is so messed up since…himm..Rogers and Vedersuck…

  7. Paula Hunter

    So Rogers to the rescue of Hobbs again? What excuse will he have this time. History just repeating itself!! That office is a serious mess. How in the heck did a librarian get a Chief Deputy County Attorney job. Heck shes been fired a few times for incompeteny. Most recent by Vederman. Make your own decisions on this fiasco. Heck just call up Glen Buckelew, who she fired and now he has threatened to expose her. Huh?

  8. Jim Johnson

    She is incompetent and it would be a travesty if she actually became judge. There is a reason she never wins when she runs for office. People wake up and don’t vote for hobbs!!

  9. Candi Evans-Alauria

    How many cases have been dismissed because of this Prosecutor? Between her and our sorry County Attorney himself the whole County Attorney’s office just suck. People better be stepping up and voting out Tony and get rid of Karen. They should both be held accountable for all their failures.

  10. Paula Hunter

    Hobbs once again today Oct 10, 2018, Judge Newman threatened to report her to the Bar for unprofessional behavior in murder trial. 2nd trial in a row.

  11. WAKE UP PEOPLE..Yes that is correct. County Attorney chastised again by judge for incompetence and game playing. The public deserves better. Two murder trails at jeopardy. Our tax dollars paying for this. Blame the Sheriff Department?

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