Judge Orders North Texas Torture Suspect To Hire Lawyer
WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A North Texas man accused of torturing a woman for nearly two weeks on a deer-skinning device has been ordered to pay for an attorney or face a county lawsuit.
Jeffrey Allan Maxwell was arraigned Wednesday on one aggravated kidnapping count and two counts of aggravated sexual assault. He didn’t enter a plea.
Maxwell allegedly carried out the torture after his former neighbor spurned his advances.
Judge Trey Loftin denied the 58-year-olds claim of poverty, saying he has assets of nearly $200,000, and made a very direct accusation. “At this point, since it’s been some time, the court feels that you are obstructing justice by not hiring an attorney,” Judge Loftin said to Maxwell.
“You need an attorney don’t you?” Judge Loftin asked Maxwell. “Yes I do,” the defendant said. The judge then asked, “Why have you waited to get one?” Maxwell responded, “Because everybody I talk to wants cash”.
Parker County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain explained Wednesdays court decision. “The judge decided to appoint him a lawyer in the interest of justice and required Mr. Maxwell to assist his attorney in freeing up some of his assets to reimburse the county.”
During the arraignment Judge Loftin made several things clear. “You will not slow down the judicial process. You will not slow down justice in your case. You will not slow down your right to a jury trial or your right to try it to the court,” he told Maxwell.
In March, the same judge denied Maxwell’s request for a public defender.
Authorities say the 58-year-old man abducted his former neighbor from her home near Weatherford on March 1, then drove her to his Corsicana home about 100 miles away. Maxwell was arrested there March 12, and the woman was rescued.
Maxwell remains jailed in Parker County with bond set at $500,000.