KINGMAN – A Kingman woman has pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in the law enforcement effort to bring alleged serial killer Hunter McGuire into custody before he reportedly killed himself last month. Brittany Conkling, 23, entered into the plea deal during a November 16 hearing before Judge Doug Camacho.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney James Schoppmann said Conkling accompanied McGuire in the days leading to his October 21 suicide at the end of a prolonged chase by authorities. Schoppmann told the court that Conkling was aware that McGuire, 26, was wanted for murders committed in Nevada and Arizona when she fled with him and his girlfriend Samantha Branek, 32.
The trio separated during the officer pursuit that ended in a remote area of Yucca where Conkling surrendered before the bodies of McGuire and Branek were found in close proximity to one another. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office has alleged that McGuire shot and killed himself, but has not determined if Branke took her own life, was murdered or died at the hand of McGuire in a suicide pact.
Schoppmann told the court that Conkling occasionally allowed McGuire to use her two cell phones while he was on the run. The sheriff’s office has alleged that the trio collected provisions and had been camping in the desert before the October 21 pursuit ended in double death tragedy.
Defense attorney Christopher Donis told Judge Camacho that his client was afraid of McGuire. “At times there were threats that Mr. Mcguire made toward my client,” he said.
Donis said the threats don’t constitute a duress defense for Conkling, but that her knowledge of McGuire’s homicidal involvement and fear of him do represent mitigation. He said he’ll elaborate at a December 14 sentencing hearing when Conkling faces probation to two years in prison.
Authorities have connected McGuire to a number of homicides.
McGuire was the suspect in the June 28 murder of a couple at their home east of Kingman. McGuire was also wanted for the October 17 murder of a woman in Las Vegas who was reportedly provided him refuge while he was sought by Arizona authorities.
The sheriff’s office considered McGuire to be responsible for the shooting death of a Kingman man whose body was found in Golden Valley October 19. It is also alleged that McGuire and Michael Turner, 31, Kingman were involved in the shooting and burial of Joshua Blake, 42, Golden Valley.
Turner is in custody awaiting trial for the Blake homicide.