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Kevin Bickford was killed by blunt force injuries to the head and neck during a fistfight with Anson Hurley in early November, the Medical Examiner’s Office reports.

“During the altercation, the decedent was reportedly punched multiple times in the head region and became unresponsive,” Assistant Medical Examiner Michael Madsen wrote.

The medical examiner’s findings helped the police investigation, which did not find enough evidence at the scene to warrant any homicide-related charges.

According to police reports, Hurley arrived at Bickford's home drunk in November 2018, and entered the home despite not being welcome. Bickford reportedly pushed Hurley, which started a fistfight that ended with Bickford's death. When an officer arrived on scene, he reported seeing Hurley attempting to do CPR.

After the medical examiner’s report was released, a grand jury indicted Hurley on new counts of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated domestic violence.

Bickford was 45 years old at the time of his death, and showed signs of recent methamphetamine and marijuana use, the medical examiner reports. The methamphetamine use was listed as a significant condition of Bickford’s death. Bickford previously served time in prison for methamphetamine-related charges.

Shanisha Sanera, Bickford’s ex-wife, filed a letter to the court that described her relationship with Bickford and his daughters, and how much the death has impacted their family.

“It matters not what Kevin did in his past or present,” Sanera said. “He was someone’s daddy, someone’s son and brother, he was someone’s soulmate and he did not deserve to lose his life.”

A grand jury had originally indicted Hurley on the three counts of domestic violence and one count of aggravated assault. Hurley has been held in detention over the last few months since his arrest on Nov. 19, 2018.

Coconino County Attorney Bill Ring had brought the original charges against Hurley, and presented the new evidence to a grand jury of Flagstaff citizens who formally accused Hurley with his new charges.

“A medical examiner’s report is one piece of professional opinion testimony and the weight to give it belongs to the fact-finders,” Ring said. “Our role is limited to presenting it to the grand jury if charges are sought and then, at the appropriate time, to the defendant.”

Conditions of release

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Roberta McVickers, Hurley’s lawyer, filed a request to allow Hurley to be released from his bond ahead of his trial date. McVickers argued that Hurley could live and work in Phoenix, away from the victims in this case, if released.

The state argued that Hurley had an active warrant at the time of the incident, and had failed to appear to court hearings in the past.

The letter from Bickford’s ex-wife was filed to inform the court of what the family thought about the possibility of Hurley’s release.

“Our family has been devastated by Kevin’s death, which was sudden, aggressive and a complete shock to the entire family,” Sanera said. “I would like to implore the court that Anson not be released.”

Division 1 Judge Ted Reed denied the request, meaning Hurley will remain in prison unless he can pay his $200,000 bond. A court document indicated that he did not have the money to pay it.

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Scott Buffon can be reached at sbuffon@azdailysun.com, on Twitter @scottbuffon or by phone at (928) 556-2250.

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Senior Reporter - Cops, Environment

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