WEATHERFORD -- Just hours after a battered Parker County woman was found at his Corsicana house in March, defendant Jeffrey Maxwell acknowledged to a Texas Ranger that he had kidnapped, tortured and sexually assaulted the woman, the Ranger testified Thursday.
Asked why he did it, Maxwell said, "Stupidity."
Ranger Tony Bradford took the stand Thursday afternoon on the third day of testimony in Maxwell's trial. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.
He is accused of kidnapping the woman, a former neighbor, from her Parker County home March 1, driving about 100 miles to his house in Corsicana and torturing her until the officers showed up at his house March 12.
Bradford played an audio recording of his hour-and-15-minute interview with Maxwell at the Navarro County Sheriff's Department hours after the arrest.
Maxwell told Bradford that he became upset with the woman for fighting him and placed her naked on a hog lift -- what authorities have called a deer rack -- in his garage.
"I had made a lift for hog hunting," Maxwell told Bradford.
Bradford asked whether Maxwell used a sexual device after he strung up the woman.
"Yes," Maxwell said. Among the devices were a vibrator and a whip.
In a matter-of-fact voice, Maxwell said he had caused the many bruises apparent on the woman's body and had chained her by the ankles to a bed frame at night.
"I got into a situation; I couldn't get out," Maxwell said.
He talked calmly about how he fed her and said that on the topic of sex, she "told me if I wanted, to go ahead."
"It was once or twice," he said.
On March 3, the woman's house burned down as a result of arson, authorities have said. Not finding the women, authorities searched for her. Maxwell is a suspect in the arson. But in the recording, he denied setting the fire.
Before the recording was played, the Ranger testified that Maxwell was "nervous" when six law enforcement officers arrived at his house. They had learned that on March 11, a $500 check made out to Maxwell was cashed on the woman's bank account.
Maxwell stepped out on the porch and shut the door behind him.
"It struck me, because most people will leave the door open," Bradford said. "He shut it like he didn't want anyone to see what was inside."
Maxwell told authorities that he had not seen the woman in years.
"But he then told us that she had recently written him a check because she owed him money," Bradford said.
The officers asked to enter, but Maxwell said no.
That's when the woman walked out of the house.
On Thursday morning, the woman, who had begun testifying Wednesday, was cross-examined by Maxwell's attorney, Richard Alley of Fort Worth.
Alley questioned the woman's statements to authorities, her faith and her medical and mental history. She answered yes when asked whether she had had a dispute with her half-brothers over property.
Holding a tissue most of the morning, the woman acknowledged that seconds after her rescue, she told officers that "he was good to me. He was my friend. He didn't do nothing."
"I was traumatized," she said. "What I said was not true."
Alley asked whether she told authorities that "some other people need to be arrested."
Maxwell "told me that someone had hired him," the woman responded.
Alley asked how many hours she spent talking to prosecutors before the trial and how many people she has told about those 12 days.
The woman said she never wrote any statements about the incident, but Alley asked state District Judge Trey Loftin to order her to produce notes that she had made when she talked to prosecutors. And he asked for crime victim claim forms that she had filled out.
In answer to a question, she said she has never had any psychological treatment.
The trial resumes today in the 43rd District Court.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763