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11/27/2013 6:00:00 AM
Driver in family feud death to plead guilty in Kingman court
Michael Rivera is accused of twice running over stepdaughter's beau
Michael Rivera
Michael Rivera

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Accused murderer Michael Anthony Rivera is scheduled to plead guilty early next year in front of Judge Steven Conn, but what crime he might admit to committing is unknown at this time.

Stephen Duncan, Rivera's Phoenix-based attorney, told Conn on Monday that a plea agreement had been reached, but no details were provided.

Conn set a Jan. 10 hearing date to possibly accept the change of plea.

According to Chief Deputy County Attorney Jace Zack, plea deals are not public record until entered in court.

Zack did say, however, that the deal does not involve a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter, which was a concern that was raised by one of the victim's relatives.

Rivera, 49, allegedly used his Cadillac to run down Nickolaus A. Gerenscer, his stepdaughter's 21-year-old boyfriend, in front of Gerenscer's home in the 2100 block of Valentine Avenue on Nov. 21, 2011.

He is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes.

Witnesses told Kingman Police investigators they saw a car "screeching" down the street after it struck Gerenscer at a high rate of speed. Then it turned around and struck him again as he lay on the ground.

Deputy Police Chief Rusty Cooper confirmed the victim was hit twice, and that Rivera also attempted to run into a crowd of people, all acquaintances and relatives of Gerenscer.

Two of those people, Gerenscer's father and brother, were allegedly Rivera's intended targets.

An argument reportedly preceded the incident and there is evidence the feud had been going on for a while. What the dispute was about is not known.

While Rivera reportedly told police the killing was accidental, Gerenscer was hit hard enough to knock his shoes off. One of them was about 30 feet from his body, according to a neighbor who witnessed the killing.

Kingman Police officers followed the vehicle to a residence in the 3900 block of Suffock Avenue. Rivera ran into the home, but later exited and surrendered.

In addition to first-degree murder, Rivera is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly trying to run down the victim's father and brother, two counts of aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

He has been in the custody of the Mohave County Jail since the day of the killing.

Duncan also advised Conn that a plea deal has been reached in an unrelated incident that occurred earlier this month at the Mohave County Jail.

Rivera allegedly punched a detention officer in the face after the officer entered his cell.

He faces a felony charge of aggravated assault on a detention officer in that case.

Duncan is out of the office this week and was not available for comment.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Article comment by: Fed up

@ Thai Mai Shu..... Ever think the reason you haven't read a story where someone armed didn't intervene is because most of us don't "conceal", therefore the incidents aren't happening around them? Also remember, it's legal to protect yourself, but not to be a "vigilante" and try and save the world.

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

Where were all the armed citizens when one was needed to protect others from this?

All these people carrying guns and I have never read a story yet where one of them actually intervened in a crime.

Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Eioleen Rodriguez

He deserves the death penalty, nick was my friend, he always had my back, and he always had a way of making us laugh. He was a good person and always tried hard. He was an amazing father to his little girl who will never hear her fathers voice or know of his love for her, and for what, because of this man! It enrages me so much. He shouldnt even be able to get a plea deal he should be sent to the chair!

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