Judge Mike Canaday on Thursday sentenced a man to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to rape and attempted murder charges in the middle of his jury trial.
Amos G. Maddox’s trial began Monday for charges relating to the 2007 sexual assault of a DeQuincy woman. After two days of testimony, Maddox, 39, said he wanted to end the trial to spare the feelings of the victim and her family.
King Alexander, Maddox’s court-appointed attorney, told Canaday that Maddox made the decision against legal advice. Alexander said it is against Public Defender’s Office policy to support a guilty plea on charges that carry a mandatory life sentence — such as aggravated rape.
Alexander moved to withdraw as counsel, but Canaday denied the motion so Alexander could represent Maddox during the guilty plea and sentencing phase.
Canaday asked Maddox if he wanted to enter the plea against his attorney’s advice. Maddox said he wanted to accept responsibility for his actions after seeing his videotaped statement in court Wednesday.
“I didn’t know the person in that film,” Maddox said. “Every man is responsible for his own actions. No one deserves that. (The victim) did not deserve that.”
Maddox said he was afraid that he would commit similar acts again if he were ever released from prison and got back on drugs.
In his videotaped statement to police, Maddox said repeatedly that he did not rape the victim. He indicated that he was on cocaine around the time of the offense.
He maintained that he did not remember committing the crime, but decided to accept responsibility for most of the crimes after seeing the state’s evidence.
Canaday warned Maddox that he faced the maximum penalty on each offense if he pleaded guilty. Maddox also had to agree that his original plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was not a viable defense.
Maddox agreed and pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and theft in excess of $500.
He entered an Alford plea — not admitting guilt, but acknowledging that the evidence would be sufficient to convict him — to the aggravated rape charge.
Prosecutor Tara Hawkins said Maddox broke into the victim’s DeQuincy home on Dec. 30, 2007, and told her that he was going to kill her. He “physically and severely beat the victim,” trying to choke, suffocate and snap her neck, Hawkins said. He left the scene in her vehicle and abandoned it in Texas.
Canaday sentenced Maddox to the maximum penalties on each charge — life in prison for aggravated rape, 50 years for attempted first-degree murder, 30 years for aggravated burglary and 10 years for theft in excess of $500. The sentences are to run concurrently.
After the sentence was imposed, Canaday asked if Maddox wished to address the court. Maddox said that saying “sorry is not good enough” for his actions. “Drugs ruin people’s lives,” he said.
“I see it every day, Mr. Maddox,” Canaday said. “Not to this extent, but I see it every day.”