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Barnett in Flagstaff Court

Derrick Shawn Barnett, 29, of Grand Junction, Colo., made an appearance in Coconino County Superior Court last Tuesday afternoon. Barnett is charged with two counts of murder along with vehicle theft and weapons misconduct in the deaths of Michael Dimuria, 67, and his wife Nora Dimuria, 64, of Williams.

A Colorado man accused of killing a Williams couple will have to face up to his criminal past during his trial.

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton granted a motion from County Attorney Ammon Barker to impeach defendant Derrick Barnett’s character during cross-examination with four previous felony convictions in Colorado. However, the details behind the convictions will not be released in court.

Slayton granted Barker’s motion to use Barnett’s previous convictions during cross-examination over the objection of Barnett’s attorney, Roberta McVickers, who argued that the prior convictions had no connection to the current case and could prejudice a jury.

Barnett is accused of killing Michael and Nora Dimuria and their dog after breaking into their home in the Red Lake area north of Williams in May 2017. According to sheriff’s reports, Barnett allegedly shot and killed the couple and then stole their Jeep Liberty. He was arrested in Colorado by Dolores County deputies after a high-speed chase. He was extradited back to Arizona in June 2017.

In August 2017, he was indicted and pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary, one count of theft, three counts of misconduct involving weapons, one count of cruelty to animals, one count of theft of a means of transportation and one count of criminal damage.

According to court documents, Barker wants to use information from four prior felony convictions in Colorado during any cross examination of Barnett during a trial. Barnett has 2006 convictions for second-degree burglary and assault, a 2014 and 2015 convictions for assault by stalking and threatening. He served four years in prison for the burglary and eight years in prison for the 2006 assault case.

If Barnett is convicted of the deaths of the Dimurias, Barker would also likely use Barnett’s criminal background and the fact he was on probation at the time as aggravating circumstances for any sentencing hearing.

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The reporter can be reached at sadams@azdailysun.com or (928)556-2253.

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Education/Business Reporter

Suzanne writes about education and business. She covers the local school district, charter schools and Northern Arizona University. She also writes the Sunday business features.

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