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Weatherford Torture Suspect Won’t Use Insanity Defense

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WEATHERFORD (AP/CBSDFW) – A North Texas man accused of torturing his former neighbor on a deer-skinning device won’t use an insanity defense at his trial next month.

That’s what Jeffrey Allan Maxwell’s attorney told a judge Thursday at a pretrial hearing.

Defense attorney Richard Alley also told the judge that his 59-year-old client is competent to stand trial.

Maxwell is charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Authorities say Maxwell abducted his 62-year-old ex-neighbor from her home near Weatherford last March. He was arrested 12 days later at his Corsicana home about 100 miles away, where the woman was rescued.

Alley filed a motion to suppress several recordings of police interrogations.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the woman was tortured and sexually assaulted inside a room he described as a ‘house of horrors’.

Investigators¬† believe Maxwell torched the woman’s home in Parker county two days after he kidnapped her.

Defense attorneys argued the detectives who conducted the interviews with Maxwell after his arrest did not stop questioning him after he said he wanted a lawyer and coerced him into answering questions by telling him it would minimize what would happen to him.

Judge Trey Loftin denied the motion, stating that Maxwell only invoked his right to counsel for a limited purpose. He spoke openly about his involvement  but asked for a lawyer before he would discuss any third party involvement in the alleged crimes.

One thing that will not come up during the trial is any extraneous offenses, including the mysterious disappearance of Maxwell’s ex-wife, Martha Martinez-Maxwell, who hasn’t been seen in nearly 20 years.

In 1987, Maxwell was arrested after his wife was found on the side of an Oklahoma road with her throat slit.
She had allegedly been duct tapped, tortured and drugged, but a grand jury declined to indict him.

Martinez-Maxwell ended up going back to her husband. and five years later she disappeared.

The unsolved case could be brought up during sentencing, but during the trial, Maxwell’s past won’t be a factor for the jury to consider.

The trial is set for February 13.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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