Maxwell arraigned

Accused kidnapper appointed temporary attorney by court

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler (right) escorts Jeffrey Allen Maxwell into the 43rd District Court the morning of March 21.

WEATHERFORD — Jeffrey Allan Maxwell, accused of kidnapping, repeatedly raping and torturing his former neighbor and burning down her Whitt home in March, was temporarily appointed an attorney Wednesday morning during arraignment.

However, taxpayers aren’t expected to pick up the bill.

Judge Trey Loftin of the Texas 43rd District Court, who denied Maxwell’s request for a public defender in March, appointed an attorney to assist Maxwell for 20 days in freeing funds and moving them to an account located in Parker County to pay for legal representation.

“You will not slow down the judicial process,” Loftin told Maxwell. “You will not slow down justice.”

Maxwell, who declared nearly $200,000 in assets when he requested a public defender, told Loftin he was attempting to sell his house and was having trouble coming up with cash to hire an attorney.

After the judge told Maxwell the county attorney was prepared to request the county file a lawsuit against him to recover legal representation costs, Maxwell agreed to the plan.

His son, who has power of attorney, is attempting to sell the house, according to Maxwell.

“I’m concerned that he’s not able to do that very effectively,” Loftin said.

Maxwell said he had met with “two or three” attorneys at the jail since Loftin had him contact attorneys with his office phone, but they all wanted cash.

He also spent a week in the hospital since his last court appearance, Maxwell said when asked why he had not  obtained an attorney.

If the transfer of funds does not happen and an attorney hired within the 20 days, Maxwell will have waived his right to counsel, Loftin said.

Maxwell did not enter a plea on the three charges he was indicted on.

With a defendant that does not have an attorney at the time of arraignment, the court generally enters a not-guilty plea, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said.

So far, Maxwell’s lack of attorney has not slowed down the judicial process, Swain said.

Maxwell was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated kidnapping. All are first degree felonies.

He has also been charged with arson of a habitation.

When investigators looking into the disappearance of the Whitt woman went to the Corsicana home of Maxwell on March 12, she rushed out of the house screaming that she was there, according to information from the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Larry Fowler described the Corsicana residence as a “house of horrors,” with a specially-designed location in the house believed to have been used for holding her.

Among items found in the house, investigators found a deer-skinning rack they believe Maxwell used to string her up while assaulting her.

Investigators are also looking into the 1992 disappearance of Maxwell’s wife, Martha Maxwell.

She had been found in Oklahoma several years prior with her throat cut and, though arrested in the case, Jeffrey Maxwell was never indicted.

Maxwell remains in the Parker County Jail on $500,000 bond.

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Click here for more on the Jeffrey Allan Maxwell torture suspect story.

DallasNews.com

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