Mrs. Maxwell, 44, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to shooting her 46-year-old 10th husband, Gordon Lynn Maxwell, Aug. 30. Although Maxwell’s body was found in the burned truck at the couple’s Ore City area home, an autopsy showed he died from a gunshot wound, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said.
The second day of testimony in the trial is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. today in Judge Lauren Parish’s 115th District Court.
Byrd called 10 witnesses Tuesday, including two who testified about Gordon Maxwell’s life insurance, and a Longview police detective who testified that blood stains found in a bedroom appeared to have been caused by multiple gunshots.
Edward Konrady, who oversees employee insurance at the U.S. Steel plant in Lone Star where Gordon Maxwell worked, testified Maxwell took out a basic life insurance policy of $50,000 with an additional option for $125,000 more coverage, and that the entire $175,000 was paid to Mrs. Maxwell.
Konrady said the agreement appeared to have been signed on March 21, 2011. Byrd said that was the day Maxwell went to work at the steel plant, and that there was evidence the Maxwells had married the day before that.
Lee Haggard, president and chief executive officer of Security State Bank in Ore City, testified the Maxwells financed a home through a loan from his bank on March 29, 2011, and that they obtained “credit life” insurance, which would pay off even if someone was murdered.
Another key state witness, Longview police Detective Dan Reigstad, testified that numerous blood stains found on the walls, headboard and dresser in the home’s master bedroom appeared to have resulted from multiple gunshots of someone who was in bed.
Reigstad, an expert on crime scenes and blood spatter, testified concerning the finding of cleaning supplies in the kitchen of the home, and said he believed the crime scene in the brick house was cleaned up. He speculated the shooter may have been kneeling on the bed.
Indentations in bedroom walls appeared to have been caused by a sewing machine found in the room, he added.
Photos showed the bedding had no sheets. According to testimony, bedding was found in a black trash bag under the kitchen counter, and bedding material was found on the home’s back porch.
In his opening argument to the six-man, six-woman jury, Byrd said “Manipulation, lies, deceit and ultimately death — that’s what this trial is gonna be about.” He said lies were told to try to manipulate investigators and that Mrs. Maxwell “killed (her husband’s) body and ultimately tried to burn his soul.”
Mrs. Maxwell, who showed little emotion during the daylong testimony Tuesday, is represented by Gilmer attorney Matthew Patton, who waived his opening statement until later.