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Callaway County judge finds probable cause in Maylee case

Friday, April 22, 2011 | 8:28 p.m. CDT; updated 12:45 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 19, 2011

FULTON — Callaway County Associate Circuit Judge Carol England ruled that there was probable cause in the case against Joshua Maylee at a preliminary hearing on Friday and set an arraignment date.

Maylee is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Eugene and Jackie Pinet and Jeff Werdehausen in October 2010 in Holts Summit. He is also charged with one count of first-degree assault for Jeff Werdehausen's wife, Gina Werdehausen.

Maylee entered the courtroom shackled and wearing a gray-and-white-striped jumpsuit.

After the defense attorneys Donald Catlett and Thomas Marshall asked for Maylee’s handcuffs to be removed, Prosecutor Christopher Wilson called Deputy Jackie Karhoff of the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department to the stand.

Karhoff, who was one of the first responders on the scene, recounted entering the home of Jeff and Gina Werdehausen. At the public defender's request, Karhoff explained the layout of the residence and the condition of the Werdehausens when the responders arrived.

Karhoff said they found Jeff Werdehausen dead and Gina Werdehausen shot in the neck. Gina Werdehausen survived the shooting.

Then, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Clark, who was on the investigative team for Maylee’s crime, took the stand.

Clark explained how he went to check on Eugene and Jackie Pinet because of their connection to Maylee. He said he found the Pinets dead in their bed. Investigators found cartridges from a rifle on the washer and dryer, which Clark said was approximately 2 feet from the bedroom.

Maylee's connection with the Pinets was part of an earlier case involving the theft of a mower in October 2009, which was found at the Pinets' residence.

Clark said he had talked to Maylee on the phone, sometimes daily, after the theft charge. Clark clarified that he and Maylee did not have a social relationship.

He said Maylee had called him earlier on the day of the shooting, but Clark had not taken the call because he was at a volleyball game.

Clark said the weapons, a 45-caliber pistol and a 6.8 mm rifle, were found in a tributary to the Missouri River, two miles off U.S. 63.

Two days after the shooting, Clark said he and Callaway County Sheriff’s Officer Bob Smith met Maylee at the emergency room in Cooper County where he told them he had been in the river. Clark said he remembered Maylee saying something about several white males kidnapping him and taking him to the river.

Defense attorneys then questioned Clark about the threats Maylee said he had received from the Pinets and Werdehausens. Clark said the threats did not warrant an investigation.

Smith was called to the stand next and asked about his past encounters with the defendant. He said he had a social relationship with the Maylee family and had been fishing with them for years.

Smith said police, including himself, went to the residence of Joshua Maylee’s grandfather, William Maylee, looking for Joshua Maylee. While they were in the residence, they seized a bag belonging to Joshua Maylee, which contained several long clips and 45-caliber magazines.

He also saw boxes of ammunition on the floor of the Dodge Ram 3500 at William Maylee's residence.

After the testimonies, Wilson entered death certificates for the three victims into evidence.

The judge ruled there was probable cause that Maylee committed a felony. Arraignment was set for 9 a.m. May 2, where there will be a formal charge and Maylee will enter a plea.


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