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Investigation of Grand Canyon death focuses on Hanover lawyer

UPDATE: 2010/07/14, 10:40 a.m.

A message on the office phone of Kirby H. Porter says that he has died. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has details, including allegations in divorce proceedings of marital and financial difficulties.

A body found yesterday 250 feet below the South Rim of the Grand Canyon may be that of former Hanover County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kirby H. Porter.

According to a news release from the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report that a man had left his car at Moran Point about 9:15 p.m. Sunday, climbed over a retaining wall and lay on the edge of the canyon.

Park rangers responded and found the car but no trace of the man. Rangers began a search yesterday morning, and rangers in the park’s helicopter spotted the body. The body was removed by a long line extended from the helicopter and taken to the Coconino County medical examiner’s office.

A spokeswoman for the office in Flagstaff, Ariz., said an autopsy is being conducted to positively identify the body.

Porter, about 50, served two terms as Hanover commonwealth’s attorney before he lost to Trip Chalkley in November 2007. Porter has had a solo practice in Mechanicsville since leaving office.

A spokesman for the Hanover sheriff’s office said park authorities asked the office yesterday to contact Porter’s family for assistance in the investigation of the death in the Grand Canyon.
By Alan Cooper


  1. This is very sad. It was a well known fact that Porter & Stuart Cook (Hanover Sheriff) did not get along. During Porter’s bid for relection in 2007, Sheriff Cook endorsed Trip Chalkley.

    “It was Porter, not Chalkley, who initiated the exoneration process. Porter did not screw up & lose the support of Cook; Porter has a 98% conviction rate & gets the toughest sentencing in the Metro area. The issue is that Porter refuses to be Cook’s bitch. Cook expects Porter to prosecute whoever is arrested, regardless of the evidence or to ‘go easy’ on Cooks friends. That’s not ‘old school’ that’s the ‘good old boy’ network, and Porter refuses to play”

    Since his loss in 2007, Kirby Porter has had a difficult time in private practice. Some believe it is due to the “good ‘ole boy network” that is operated by Sheriff Cook in Hanover County!

    This death needs a closer investigation by the AZ authorities.

  2. http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2010/jul/14/kpob141-ar-291016/

    Here is another link to more news related to this story. The Richmond Times Dispatch is reporting that there were domestic issues plaguing this man as well.

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