Weatherford Democrat

Local News

February 22, 2012

Jury finds Maxwell guilty

PARKER COUNTY — A Parker County jury found Jeffrey Allan Maxwell guilty Tuesday on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting his former Whitt neighbor.

After about 45 minutes of deliberation Tuesday afternoon, the six-man, six-woman jury returned to the courtroom shortly after 5 p.m. and delivered verdicts of guilty on all charges, including aggravated kidnapping and two charges of aggravated sexual assault.

Jurors heard nearly five days of testimony alleging the 59-year-old Navarro County man abducted his former 61-year-old neighbor from her Whitt home at gunpoint on March 1, 2011, severely beat and humiliated her, repeatedly sexually assaulted her, and held her at his Corsicana home for 12 days.

The woman, who the Democrat is not identifying because she is the victim of a sexual assault, told jurors she’d rejected repeated advances by Maxwell before he moved away from her neighborhood in 2005 but had not seen him since until he showed up at her house in 2011.

Left tied up in her house while Maxwell went outside, bruised and bleeding from an earlier struggle, she escaped and nearly made it to a family member’s driveway when Maxwell chased her down and put her in the cargo area of his vehicle at gunpoint, she told jurors.

According to testimony presented to jurors, the woman made repeated attempts to escape as Maxwell abducted her. Maxwell reportedly stripped the woman in his garage and hung her from an iron bar and winch system he described as a hog-cleaning device. As she hung there, he sexually assaulted her while beating her with whips and attaching clamps to her nipples, the woman told jurors.

When Maxwell left the house for a couple hours, according to testimony, he put the woman - gagged and shackled hand and foot - in a solid wooden box she called “the coffin.”

The woman told jurors she underwent repeated humiliations, sexual assaults and other abuse over the course of her abduction while believing Maxwell was eventually going to kill her.

After investigating a fire that destroyed the woman’s home March 3, investigators went to Maxwell’s home in Corsicana on March 1. There the woman walked out of the house behind Maxwell, who had told investigators he had not seen her in years, according to evidence presented to jurors.

Testimony in the first phase of the trial ended just after noon Tuesday after two forensic analysts testified regarding DNA and bodily fluids located on many items of evidence seized from the house and a vehicle.

Many blood stains, other stains and biological evidence collected from some items throughout the house and a vehicle tested positive for DNA matching the woman, according to evidence presented to jurors.

A forensic scientist with a Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab testified - among their findings - they located apparent blood stains from the winch, rope and cable, which prosecutors said was used to hoist the woman in the air as Maxwell severely beat and sexually assaulted her the day he kidnapped her. The DNA profile in the stains matched the woman’s, according to testimony.

Shortly after assistant district attorneys Jeff Swain and Kathleen Catania rested their case, Maxwell told 43rd District Judge Trey Loftin that he did not want to testify or put additional evidence for the jury.

Catania compared the story presented to jurors to a Stephen King or Stieg Larsson novel during closing arguments.

“This isn’t some theoretical story,” Catania told jurors. “This is somebody’s life.”

Court-appointed defense attorneys Rick Alley and James Wilson argued during closing statements that jurors should take a close look at the evidence and apply the law.

Wilson argued that Maxwell did not give a free and voluntary statement to investigators in a recording played for jurors. Maxwell’s defense attorneys repeatedly objected to the introduction of three recorded interrogations in which Maxwell admitted to abducting and sexually assaulting the woman.

Alley argued investigators did an illegal search of the house. He also said the woman’s initial statements to investigators immediately after exiting the house behind Maxwell, stating he didn’t do anything, should give jurors doubt.

Maxwell’s actions were monstrous, unimaginable and inhuman, Swain told jurors, calling them to hold him accountable.

Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial was expected to begin Wednesday morning.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 loc WC upward bound.jpg Traveling the path to success

    Several factors aligned to set Louriann Villa on the path to success including a mother she considers a hero, the Weatherford College Upward Bound program and scholarship funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weatherford DAR to host summer workshop

    Weatherford Chapter-DAR will be hosting the District II summer workshop with 94 members from across North Texas attending on Saturday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Side Baptist Church.

    July 23, 2014

  • Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose

    Looking for a fun night out? Join us for the Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. 

    July 20, 2014

  • DAILY RECORD: Marriages and deaths

    Marriages and deaths recorded from July 9, 2014, to July 15, 2014. This information is being provided as a courtesy by the Parker County Clerk. Every effort is made to see that the information is correct and complete. The Parker County Clerk is not responsible should there be an error within the information provided.

    July 19, 2014

  • Master Gardener training orientation dates set

    The Parker County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be offering a Master Gardener Intern Training Course this fall. 

    July 19, 2014

  • Soulis named to Dean’s List at Washington University

    ST. LOUIS — Johnathon Taylor Soulis, of Weatherford, was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2014 semester at Washington University in St. Louis. Soulis is enrolled in the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    July 19, 2014

  • CASA - Hope for Children unveils new website, videos

    CASA-Hope for Children has always been able to help 100% of the neglected and abused children taken into the foster care system, but because of the overwhelming number of children that have been taken into the system that may not be the reality much longer. 

    July 18, 2014

  • Driver speed, seatbelt compliance surveys show improvements

    The Weatherford Police Department utilized grant funding from the Texas Department of Transportation to fund overtime salaries for extra enforcement during the week of the Fourth of July. The extra patrols worked to ensure drivers were complying with posted speed limits, wearing seatbelts and were not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in an effort to keep our local roadways safe.

    July 18, 2014

  • Sheila Gerrald CASA announces Advocate of the Quarter

    CASA Hope for Children volunteer Sheila Gerrald has been chosen as Advocate of the Quarter for the Second Quarter of 2014. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Phone scam targeting WC students

    Weatherford College students are being warned of a potential scam targeting their financial information.

    July 17, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel