— By CHRISTIN COYNE
An appeals court this week upheld the three convictions and life sentences a Parker County jury assessed Jeffrey Allan Maxwell, found guilty of kidnapping, torturing and repeatedly raping a neighbor while imprisoning her for 12 days in his home.
In an opinion handed down Thursday, the court ordered the life sentences be served concurrently, but otherwise denied Maxwell’s appeal.
“The court’s ruling was exactly what we had expected and hoped it would be,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain. “This is just one more step to assuring that Jeffrey Maxwell will spend the rest of his life in prison, which was our goal from the outset of the prosecution of this case.”
Prosecutors agreed in their brief to the court that the trial judge’s order stacking the sentences was not compliant with the law, according to Swain.
“Honestly, I don’t think that will make any difference as far as how long he serves in prison,” Swain said of the 61-year-old Maxwell, who jurors were told suffers from congestive heart failure, diabetes and kidney failure. “He will be in prison until he dies.”
Maxwell can appeal the decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
In February 2012, Maxwell was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and two aggravated sexual assault charges after nearly five days of testimony alleging the Corsicana man abducted his former 61-year-old neighbor from her Whitt home at gunpoint on March 1, 2011.
The woman testified she had rejected Maxwell’s advances years before when he lived in her neighborhood.
Over the course of nearly two weeks, he severely beat and humiliated the woman, at one point torturing her as she hung from a deer-skinning device in his garage, repeatedly sexually assaulted her, chained her up, locked her in a wooden box about the size of a coffin and threatened to kill her.
He also burned down her home shortly after her abduction, killing her pets and destroying her possessions, according to testimony.
After repeated attempts to escape her abductor, the woman was rescued when Parker County law enforcement showed up at Maxwell’s home with a warrant to search his car.
Investigators obtained the warrant after Maxwell deposited a check the woman wrote him. The woman’s banker, knowing she was missing, contacted police.
As Maxwell denied to officers recent contact with the woman, she emerged from his house exclaiming, “I’m here, I’m here.”
Maxwell’s former wife, Martha Martinez Maxwell, remains missing since her disappearance in 1992. Five years prior she was found lying beside a road in Oklahoma, hours away from the couple’s Watauga home, severely beaten and her throat slit. The woman reportedly told investigators he tied her up without her consent following an argument, beat her, attached an electrical shocking device to her nipples and sexually assaulted her. However, a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Jeffrey Maxwell in the case and she later went missing, leaving her young son behind.