Monday, April 25, 2011
Facing triple homicide charges, Joshua Maylee of Holts Summit was bound over Friday for a May 2 arraignment in Callaway County Circuit Court.
In Maylee’s preliminary hearing Friday, Associate Circuit Court Judge Carol England ruled crimes have been committed and there is probable cause that Maylee may have committed them.
The ruling sets in motion a full-scale capital murder trial that will shift from Callaway County Associate Circuit Court to Callaway County Circuit Court.
After the preliminary hearing, Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson said the entire murder trial may take up to two years to complete.
Wilson said he is basing that estimate on previous capital murder trials. He said the last one in Callaway County took more than two years to complete.
Maylee is accused of using a rifle and a pistol to murder Callaway County residents Eugene Allen Pinet, his wife Jackie Pinet, and Jeff Werdenhausen. He also faces an attempted murder charge in connection with a shooting and wounding of Werdenhausen’s wife, Gina.
Extra security ringed the courtroom with Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane and several deputies stationed throughout the courtroom. Metal detectors were set up outside the courtroom and strict security procedures were followed.
Families of victims and the accused attended the hearing. Weeping was heard in the courtroom when law enforcement officers described the death scenes of the victims. Families of the victims were on one side of the courtroom and Maylee’s friends and family were on the other side of the courtroom.
At the request of Public Defenders Don Catlett and Tom Marshall, who both specialize in capital murder cases, Judge England ordered that the handcuffs on Maylee be removed during the hearing. Marshall said Maylee wanted to take notes during the hearing.
During the preliminary hearing, Callaway County Deputy Jackie Karhoff testified he responded to a dispatch of a shooting at the residence of Jeff and Gina Werdenhausen. Karhoff said he observed but did not touch 11 spent shell casings in an upstairs area and six larger caliber shells on a lower level of the residence.
Jason Paul Clark, a Missouri State Highway Patrol criminal investigator, described the scene of the murders of Allen and Jackie Pinet. He told the court that both were gunshot victims.
Prosecution testimony was designed to link the murders and shell casings to two weapons owned by Maylee, a 6.8 mm rifle, and a .45 caliber pistol. Clark said both weapons have been recovered by law enforcement investigators in the water in a tributary of the Missouri River in Callaway County.
Clark said it is his understanding that Maylee ordered the 6.8 mm rifle from a private gun dealer, Rocky Ponder, who is also employed as a communications officer with the patrol.
Sgt. Bob Smith, Callaway County Sheriff’s Department investigator, testified he and Clark picked up Maylee at a hospital in Boonville and took him to an interview room at the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department.
Maylee had been arrested by Cooper County authorities and was being detained for them at a hospital for treatment of minor wounds to the hand he sustained while in the Missouri River.
Clark said when Maylee was asked how he got into the river, Maylee had answered that he had been kidnapped by several white males and they took him to the river.
In the car and again in the interview room they advised Maylee of his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent. Both Smith and Clark said Maylee declined to ask for an attorney and he answered all questions freely. Smith said Maylee admitted he shot the victims.
Smith said the four-hour interview was recorded with an audio recorder.
On cross examination by defense attorney Marshall, Smith revealed that he knew Maylee and they had fished together a few times. Smith said Maylee showed him two weapons prior to the shootings. Smith said he was aware that Maylee owned the firearms believed used in the murders.
Smith said Maylee’s grandfather had been employed a few years ago by the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department. Maylee’s grandfather owned a fishing pond and Smith said he had fished there off and on over the years. Smith said Maylee told him he wanted to become a law enforcement officer at some point but never received any training. Smith testified Maylee also has an uncle currently employed by the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department.
Smith said during an interview at the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department, Maylee waived his right to contact a lawyer and to remain silent and signed a waiver form to that effect.
Smith said Maylee told him that he went to the Pinet residence and had not intended to shoot Mrs. Pinet but she was with her husband so he “fired a triple tat at each of them.” Smith explained that Maylee meant that he had fired three shots at each of them. Smith said he shot them with his 6.8 mm rifle.
Smith said Maylee told him that Maylee then drove to the Werdenhausen residence.
Smith said Maylee reported he made some noise to try to draw Jeff Werdenhausen from the residence. But instead Gina, his wife, came to the door. He said dogs were coming out and he pointed his .45 caliber pistol toward her, fired and then pursued Jeff Werdenhausen. Smith said Maylee told him he fired six or seven shots at Jeff Werdenhausen from his .45 caliber pistol and then 10 or 11 times with his 6.8 mm rifle.
Clark said he knew Maylee from a previous theft investigation in which Maylee was arrested and charged.
During the theft investigation, Clark said he, Maylee and Cpl. Eric Edison of the patrol drove by the Pinet residence a few months prior to the murders and Maylee pointed out what Maylee contended was a stolen zero turn mower that was in the yard of the Pinet residence. Clark said Maylee was being driven around by the patrol to various places and Maylee would point out stolen property.
Clark said he later talked with the Pinets about the property that Maylee had contended was stolen.
Clark said he and Maylee never drove by the Werdenhausen residence but he did talk to Werdenhausen about information received from Maylee.
During the Maylee theft investigation, Maylee had complained to Clark that he had been threatened by the Pinet and Werdenhausen families. Clark said he was unsure how many times Maylee made the complaints but estimated it was more than three and less than five. He said those alleged threats came between July and Oct. 26, the day of the homicides.
Clark said the verbal contact between Maylee, Pinet and Werdenhausen did not warrant a criminal investigation because the statements did not indicate criminal activity.
Clark said Maylee never told him that he had been shot at by someone. Smith said Maylee told him he had been shot at and the Sheriff’s Department investigated the report.
Clark said he had been told that a family member’s residence had burned. He said the Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Marshal’s offices investigated the fire.
Maylee also faces two other felony charges of theft of a commercial lawn mower and a tractor.
Maylee’s arraignment on the multiple first-degree murder charges will be at 9 a.m. May 2 in Callaway County Circuit Court.