Looking at the charges that Anson Hurley pleaded not guilty to — three counts of domestic violence and one count of aggravated assault — it would not be clear that victim Kevin Bickford died from the alleged crime.
Bickford died after a fight broke out between him and Hurley, Bickford's former roommate. The Coconino County Attorney’s Office did not pursue any homicide or manslaughter charges against Hurley in response to Bickford’s death. Cory Runge, spokesperson for the Flagstaff Police Department, said investigators could not conclusively determine whether the death was the result of the fight or natural causes.
“It’s an odd case that the police department is working on in collaboration with the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Runge said. “We don’t have any clear answers.”
And while county attorney Bill Ring declined to comment on the topic of the charges, attorneys can add or modify charges before a case goes to trial. Investigators with the department are waiting for the report from the Medical Examiner’s Office on the cause of death.
It is unclear how the examiner's report might affect the charges in the state’s case, which has a scheduled appearance in Coconino County Superior Court on Jan. 7.
The officer who first responded to the initial scene of the crime at 2:41 a.m. on Nov. 18 reported seeing a man, who was later identified as Bickford, was laying on the ground, unresponsive. Hurley was seen walking around Bickford and “attempting to do CPR,” the officer reported.
While a knife was found near Bickford at the scene, the officer reported asking Hurley if it was a part of the scene, to which he responded “no.” Hurley alleged they were “only fighting,” according to the report.
In addition, Bickford was not reported by police as having any knife wounds.
Bickford’s roommate told police that Hurley showed up at their home drunk and covered in vomit at 2:30 a.m. Bickford and his roommate told Hurley that he had to leave, but still sat down on the couch. While the roommate was in the kitchen, she alleged that Bickford pushed Hurley, starting a fistfight.
The fight went to the ground, when the roommate told police that she ran out of their residence to call for help. No neighbors responded to her pleas, police reported.
A person who knew Bickford and was interviewed on the day of the incident indicated that the victim and Hurley were “not on good terms.” The person alleged that Bickford had kicked Hurley out of his home two months before. It is not clear if the two lived together at that time.
Bickford was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center where he was declared dead, according to the police report.
Hurley’s public defender, Roberta McVickers declined to comment while awaiting disclosure.