WEATHERFORD — A Texas man said he had sexual fantasies about bondage but couldn't explain why he kidnapped his ex-neighbor, sexually assaulted her on a deer-skinning device and chained her to a bed, according to videotaped interviews with law enforcement officers played at his trial Friday.
"I don't really know all the whys," Jeffrey Allan Maxwell tells investigators in a March video recording made a few days after his arrest.
Maxwell, 59, faces up to life in prison if convicted of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
In the interviews, he described abducting the woman and driving 100 miles to his Corsicana home, about 50 miles south of Dallas. The woman escaped 12 days later when authorities went there to question him about her disappearance.
The Associated Press generally does not identify possible victims of sexual assault.
Maxwell's attorneys objected to playing of the interviews, saying he requested an attorney during the questioning. The judge overruled them.
In the video recordings, he denied sexually assaulting his former neighbor repeatedly while holding her captive, only giving details about an assault on the deer-skinning device in the garage and saying "after that, I pretty much left her alone." But in an audio recording made just hours after Maxwell was arrested, he's heard telling an investigator they had sex at least one other time and later acknowledging the woman had not consented.
Maxwell and the woman, now 63, were neighbors in a rural Parker County town about 70 miles west of Dallas before he moved seven years ago. In the video, he tells investigators he stole panties from her house when they were neighbors but says "they weren't sexy enough" as he and the investigator start laughing. He says he and the woman were acquaintances and never dated.
Investigators repeatedly asked Maxwell, who had been the vice president of the Kiwanis Club in Corsicana, why he kidnapped the woman and why he did it at that time.
"That's a damn good question," Maxwell said at one point. When later asked if he needed help, he said, "I imagine I do. Yes."
After an investigator told Maxwell that pornographic DVDs with bondage and rape scenes were found at his home, Maxwell acknowledged he'd fantasized about bondage. During another interview, Maxwell said he tried bondage once with his second wife, Martha Martinez Maxwell.
It's unclear whether investigators asked him more questions about her; only parts of the interviews were shown to jurors. After his arrest last year, authorities said they were re-opening the case into Martha Martinez Maxwell's 1992 disappearance and Jeff Maxwell was under investigation. State District Judge Trey Loftin has barred anything about her disappearance from being discussed during this trial.
In several recorded interviews with investigators, Maxwell repeatedly denied setting his former neighbor's house on fire two days after her abduction. But in a video recording, he tells investigators he returned to her house that day to get her mail so her neighbors wouldn't realize she was gone.
The woman testified earlier that Maxwell hit her with a rolling pin and handcuffed her during the March 1 abduction. She said he kept her in handcuffs and chained her legs to a bed, even locking her in a box when he once ran an errand. She told jurors she bled profusely after one of the sexual assaults, which she said stopped after about a week when he became ill. Then he left her unrestrained when they were in the same room but still watched her closely, she said.
Investigators have testified they found whips, chains, sex toys, duct tape, the animal-skinning device, blood-stained sheets and guns in Maxwell's house.