Kidnap-torture suspect denied court-appointed attorney

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 21 at 7:59 PM

WEATHERFORD — According to affidavits, Jeff Maxwell admitted to chaining up and brutalizing a 62-year woman.

On Monday, it was Maxwell who was in chains, shuffling into a courtroom in Weatherford, asking taxpayers to provide him with a defense attorney.

Maxwell was handcuffed, with chains wrapped around his waist, as he approached District Judge Trey Loftin. Loftin noted that Maxwell has a house, a commercial property, two vehicles and other assets.

"Your total net worth is just under $200,000," Judge Loftin said. "Sir, I don't think the people of Parker County want me to give you an attorney if you have this kind of financial ability."

When the judge asked Maxwell whether he had had an opportunity to contact a lawyer, Maxwell replied, speaking in a high, raspy voice. "I haven't bothered. I realize that looking at my assets... but a lot of that I can't touch unless I sell my house, and it's hard to do right now."

Investigators found Maxwell's alleged kidnapping victim in his small home near Corsicana on March 12. She had what appeared to be abrasions from shackles.

The woman, who is not being identified by WFAA because of the nature of the crimes against her, had been missing since her home burned down in rural Parker County nearly two weeks earlier.

Since then, authorities say, Maxwell has been sitting in his jail cell, getting no visitors and making no calls.

Judge Loftin gave Maxwell a few minutes to go through the phone book and call attorneys on Monday. Then he was escorted back to jail by the Parker County Sheriff and a Texas Ranger.

Maxwell did not respond to any questions from reporters.

Late Monday afternoon, Parker County added an arson charge. Maxwell already faced one count of aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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