Trial of former sports club treasurer delayed

The trial for the former treasurer of the Mohave Sportsman's Club, charged with embezzling money from the club, was postponed Friday for two months.

Walter Lloyd Tester's trial, originally scheduled for Jan.

6, was postponed until March 17.

Tester is charged with theft, forgery and fraudulent schemes and artifices, all felonies.

Tester's attorney, Billy Sipe Jr., in asking for the delay, said he has yet to interview what he considered the most important state witness.

Sipe also told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss that the paper-intensive trial would probably go longer than the expected three to five days.

Tester's jury trial management hearing was also rescheduled until March 6.

The jury trial management hearing, normally set two weeks before the trial, is the last day that a defendant can accept a plea offer.

Tester is not being held in custody.

Tester's co-defendant and wife, Joan Tester, who served as the club's president, passed away in August.

She had been charged with felony theft and fraudulent schemes and artifices.

The Testers, who held their posts at the club for about two and a half years, were charged with stealing approximately $29,000 from the club.

The theft occurred between May 1999 and March 26, 2002, court records show.

According to the court records, Mr.

Tester provided incorrect treasury reports to the club.

The couple resigned from their positions in April just days after a criminal complaint was filed against them in Kingman Justice Court.

If tried and convicted for the theft and fraudulent schemes charges, Tester could receive a prison term of between three to 12 1/2 years in prison each.

The forgery charge could net him another 1 to 3 3/4 years in prison.

The Mohave Sportsman's Club reportedly has more than 800 members and is based at the Seven Mile Range, a 722-acre gun range on Oatman Road, used by law enforcement officers as well as the public.

The club, which has been in existence since 1936, is made up of hunters, anglers and sport enthusiasts.