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Detective says woman accused of murder confessed

Sun., Nov. 14, 2010

She’s accused of hiring others to kill woman

WATERVILLE, Wash. – The woman accused of murdering Michelle Kitterman told an investigator on March 31, 2009, that she wanted to tell the truth about her feelings toward the murder victim.

“She said the truth was she wanted Michelle gone, the baby dead and her husband back,” Okanogan County Detective Mike Murray told the jury Friday in Douglas County Superior Court.

Lacey Hirst-Pavek is on trial for aggravated first-degree murder. She is accused of hiring people to kill Kitterman, who was pregnant with Hirst-Pavek’s husband’s child.

Murray said the defendant also told him that she told Tansy Mathis about her feelings in the days before Kitterman was murdered on March 1, 2009.

Mathis, a 30-year-old Spokane woman, was found guilty in April of first-degree aggravated murder in Kitterman’s death and was sentenced to life in prison. She is accused of working with Brent Phillips, 39, of Spokane, to beat and stab Kitterman to death on a remote Tonasket roadway. Phillips pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder and testified against Hirst-Pavek in exchange for a recommendation of 26 years in prison.

If convicted, Hirst-Pavek faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. She also is charged with first-degree manslaughter for the death of Kitterman’s unborn child.

Murray testified Friday morning about an interview he conducted with Hirst-Pavek in 2009. He said her statement about wanting Michelle gone and the baby dead was not recorded at her request.

When the tape was turned back on, Hirst-Pavek told Murray that “I never once said I wanted (Kitterman) to disappear.” She also said on tape that Mathis told her, “I will take care of the baby thing.”

Murray was testifying on day seven of the murder trial.

The trial was moved to Waterville because of publicity surrounding the case in Okanogan County.

Mathis was on trial at the same time as David Richards, 34, of Spokane. He was found guilty as an accomplice of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for the death of Kitterman’s unborn child. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Richards, the prosecution said, was involved in planning the crime and provided the murder weapon.

During the trial Friday, Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Richardson asked Murray what he did after interviewing Hirst-Pavek on March 31. Murray replied that he had only planned to interview her but “she confessed, so we decided to go ahead and arrest her.”

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