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Defense attorney seeks new judge in Ketchner case

January 11, 2019

KINGMAN — The attorney for a Kingman murder suspect charged with the stabbing death of a teenager almost a decade ago is asking for a new judge.

Darrell Bryant Ketchner, 60, is charged with first-degree murder and burglary. Prosecutors dropped the death penalty against Ketchner in February.

Ketchner’s case is before Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert. Ketchner’s attorney, Michael Reeves, objected Monday to Lambert being on the case since the judge reportedly knows several witnesses who are expected to be called at trial.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Megan McCoy suggested that the defense attorney file a written motion for the record, so she could respond to that motion.

Lambert said there’s a possibility that Judge Rick Williams may take back the criminal case. Ketchner’s case could be reassigned to Judge Derek Carlisle or be assigned to an out-of-county judge. The judge set the next hearing for Jan. 22.

Lambert also ordered Reeves to be at that hearing in person and resented that the defense attorney knew about Monday’s hearing and yet boarded a flight and was unable to attend the hearing telephonically. Ketchner attended the hearing telephonically from prison.

On the night of July 4, 2009, Jennifer Allison and her daughter, Ariel Allison, 18, sat at their kitchen table at their Kingman home.

Ketchner arrived unannounced at the Allison home and chased Jennifer Allison outside and allegedly shot her in the head in the driveway. Ketchner went back inside and allegedly fatally stabbed 18-year-old Ariel Allison eight times in her mother’s bedroom. Several other children escaped out a window. Jennifer Allison survived her wounds.

The Arizona Supreme Court overturned Ketchner’s first murder conviction and death sentence in December 2014 and sent those charges back to Mohave County to be retried.

The Supreme Court upheld his conviction and prison sentence for attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault and a weapons charge.

Ketchner is serving 21 years for the attempted murder charge and 33 years in prison for the three aggravated assault charges.

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