James Manker

James Manker

KINGMAN — A Mohave Valley man who claims the death of his older girlfriend was a mercy killing attended a pre-trial conference in Kingman on Wednesday.

James Paul Manker, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 29 shooting death of Tina Stimmell, 56, at their residence in the 9900 block of South Needles Drive in Mohave Valley.

A probable cause statement indicated that Manker and Stimmell failed when they tried to use natural gas within the home to commit double-suicide. He told a detective that he shot Stimmell in the head through a pillow as she slept on a recliner in the living room.

Manker told investigators that Stimmell had been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure and that her health had been deteriorating. His brother told authorities that Manker told him that he shot Stimmell to put her out of her misery.

Public Defender Robin Puchek told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle that he has received, but has not had time to read through, the first 74 pages of case disclosure provided by the state.

Puchek told the court that no one from his office had spoken with the defendant prior to Wednesday’s hearing.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jaimye Ashley said that she would like more time to develop a “well-thought-out offer” that might resolve the case short of trial.

Manker is being held in the Adult Detention Center with his next hearing on May 6.

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