Monday, November 1, 2010
Facing three counts of first-degree murder, a Holts Summit man appeared Friday afternoon in a Callaway County courtroom, a day after he was captured in what authorities had called a statewide manhunt.
Joshua Maylee, 23, is also facing one count of first-degree assault.
Maylee is accused of killing 48-year-old Eugene Pinet and his 57-year-old wife, Jackie, at their home. In a separate incident, he is charged with killing 46-year-old Jeffrey Werdehausen and injuring his 41-year-old wife, Gina, at their home.
Police have said Maylee and the victims from the Holts Summit area were connected by past dealings, but they have not elaborated.
Appearing before Associate Circuit Judge Carol England on Friday, Maylee was read the charges against him. The judge also allowed him to consult with attorneys with the public defender’s office who told the judge they could not represent him because Maylee did not meet their economic guidelines. Maylee asked if he could reapply; the judge said he could. As of Friday evening, he had no legal representation.
A counsel status hearing for Maylee is scheduled for Nov. 19.
A number of family members of the Werdehausens were in the courtroom for the proceedings. They told reporters outside the Callaway County Courthouse that Gina was continuing to recover and looked to be going into rehab in the near future.
Earlier Friday, Callaway County Prosecutor Bob Sterner filed the formal charges against Maylee.
According to a Callaway County Sheriff’s Department probable cause statement, authorities were called to the Werdehausens’ home at 3682 Country Road 488 in the early morning hours of Wednesday. Gina called 911 saying she had been shot, and she believed her husband was also shot.
At the crime scene, Gina told deputies she had been shot in the neck by a white male just outside her front door; she said the male, who was 6 feet tall with a muscular build, entered the residence after shooting her. She told deputies her husband was inside and that she had heard gunshots after the male went inside the house. Jeff, who had been shot multiple times, was found dead by deputies in the upstairs of the home, authorities said.
Later, after being taken to University Hospital in Columbia, Gina told authorities that she was unable to identify the suspect due to how quickly the shooting occurred. But she told investigators the only person she suspected was Joshua Maylee. She said she and Jeff had a number of problems with Maylee and that lately threats had been made.
Authorities searched the Werdehausens’ residence and found spent shell casings outside and inside the home. The casings came from two different firearms — a .45 caliber firearm and 6.8 mm casing that would come from an assault rifle.
During a media briefing Friday, Sgt. Robert Bruchsaler with the Cole County Sheriff’s Department and spokesman for the Mid Missouri Major Case Squad, told reporters it was a coincidence that led authorities to find the bodies of the Pinets.
“Investigators were headed to their residence on Heartnut Road Wednesday morning, around 10:30 a.m. because we had found that they had some past dealings with Maylee,” he said. ‘When they got there, a family member had also just arrived and found their bodies inside.”
Bruchsaler did not say where the Pinets’ bodies were found, but the court documents said both were shot to death and that shell casings were recovered at the scene.
Included in the probable cause statement is information from a Callaway County Sheriff’s Department investigator who knew Maylee and had talked with him about firearms. Maylee also had shown the investigator weapons that he owned. The investigator and a Missouri Highway Patrol sergeant both said they knew Maylee owned an assault rifle and a .45 caliber handgun.
On Thursday, the investigator went to a residence in Rocky Mount in Morgan County where Maylee and his girlfriend had been staying.
Maylee was not there, but the girlfriend allowed the investigator to search the residence where he found spent gun and rifle ammunition casings. The girlfriend said the casings belonged to Maylee, but no firearms using these calibers of ammunition were found during the search.
Maylee’s girlfriend did tell the investigator that Maylee had left the residence Tuesday to go to his grandfather’s home in Callaway County and was supposed to have an appointment with his lawyer. Maylee was to return Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, but he had not, she said. The girlfriend told the investigator she hadn’t heard from Maylee since about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Later Thursday, the investigator talked with Maylee’s grandfather, William Maylee, in Callaway County. The grandfather told the investigator Joshua had spent most of Tuesday at the grandfather’s home, except for when Joshua went to Columbia to see his lawyer. The grandfather said Joshua returned to the Callaway home and left it around 9:30 p.m.; he was to return to Rocky Mount.
Joshua’s grandfather also said he allowed Joshua to use his car and he was to return it to his residence Wednesday, but had not.
Joshua had left two bags at his grandfather’s residence and they were found to have loaded ammunition magazines inside. Authorities also seized Joshua’s truck, which he had left at his grandfather’s home, and found empty ammunition boxes inside.
A Missouri Highway Patrol firearms examiner later determined that the .45 caliber shell casings taken from the Werdehausen residence matched casings taken from Maylee’s Rocky Mount home and that casings taken from the Pinets’ residence matched rifle casings taken from Maylee’s home.
Joshua Maylee was taken into custody Thursday afternoon in Cooper County after he came to a residence off Missouri 179, asking for help for some minor injuries to his hand and foot.
There’s no information from court documents or authorities as to how or why Maylee ended up at the Cooper County home. Authorities also did not say if they had recovered the silver vehicle they believed Maylee was driving or the weapons he may have used in these crimes.
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