A Parker County jury returned three life sentences late Wednesday afternoon for convicted kidnapper and rapist Jeffrey Allan Maxwell.
According to testimony presented during the trial, Maxwell abducted former Whitt neighbor Lois Pearson in March 2011 and subjected her to severe beatings, sexual assaults and torture during the 12-day ordeal.
The jury convicted Maxwell on a charge of aggravated kidnapping and two charges of aggravated sexual assault Tuesday and, after about 50 minutes of deliberation Wednesday afternoon, returned three life sentences on the charges, along with accompanying $10,000 fines.
District Judge Trey Loftin stacked the two aggravated sexual assault life sentences, making Maxwell ineligible for release on parole for 60 years.
“I’m proud that it’s all over,” Pearson said shortly after the verdict. “And I feel relieved that he won’t be bothering anybody hopefully, because my greatest fear was that he if he did get out, he would attack another lady. And I don’t think the next lady would live.”
After sentencing him, Loftin told Maxwell that he preyed on the least, lost, little and last and, in the words of a Parker County law enforcement officer, was every parent’s nightmare.
Pearson told jurors she’d rejected repeated advances by Maxwell before he moved away from her neighborhood in 2005 but had not seen him since until he showed up at her house in 2011.
Left tied up in her house while Maxwell went outside, bruised and bleeding from an earlier struggle and beating, Pearson escaped and nearly made it to a family member’s driveway when Maxwell chased her down and put her in the cargo area of his vehicle at gunpoint, she told jurors.
Pearson said she made repeated attempts to escape as Maxwell abducted her. When they arrived at his Corsicana home, Maxwell reportedly stripped the woman in his garage and hung her from an iron bar and winch system he described as a hog-cleaning device. As she hung there, he sexually assaulted her while beating her with whips and attaching clamps to her nipples, the woman told jurors.
When Maxwell left the house for a couple hours, according to testimony, he put her - gagged and shackled hand and foot - in a solid wooden box she called “the coffin.”
Maxwell reportedly left her gagged and bound hand and foot, laying on her back the entire day of March 3, the day investigators suspect he burned her house to the ground. She was forced to relieve herself on the bed and bounce up and down to keep some circulation in her fingers, she said.
Maxwell sexually assaulted her for eight days until he became sick, and she underwent other humiliations and abuse during her time in Corsicana, Pearson testified.
Pearson said she believed Maxwell was going to kill her at the end of two weeks but survived by reading a Bible and praying constantly.
While investigating the fire and her disappearance, investigators went to Maxwell’s home in Corsicana on March 12 with a search warrant for his vehicle. There the woman walked out of the house shortly after Maxwell, who had told investigators he had not seen her in years, according to evidence presented to jurors.