In June 2011, Charles Anthony Maddox Jr., 46, was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Ruth Anne Maddox, 45. He was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison.
The killing happened in the couple’s Prior Lake, Minn., home in 2008. During the investigation, police learned that the couple was going through a contentious divorce that upset Maddox. That led to a physical altercation with Ruth Anne. Maddox claimed his wife attacked him with a screwdriver and knife and he defended himself by choking her to death. Ruth Anne died of blunt force head and neck injuries.
After the murder, Maddox dressed in women’s clothing and drove Ruth Anne’s vehicle to the airport where he left it. He also used her cell phone to text message her co-workers and friends saying she was leaving.On Thursday, Maddox began an appeal before the Minnesota Court of Appeals in St. Paul asking his murder conviction to be reversed. A three-judge panel of the appellate court is hearing the appeal which Maddox claims included invalid search warrants, a claim that the judge should have removed a potential juror who had a cousin killed by her husband, and that his crime was not planned and only happened in the heat of the moment.
In his appeal, obtained from the courts, Maddox argues that prosecutors failed to prove he intended to kill his wife. He claims the killing happened in the heat of the moment and only because he was provoked by her alleged attack on him. Maddox argues his conviction should be reduced to manslaughter.
According to a report by the Shakopee Valley News where Ruth Anne was working as a reporter at the time of her death, a recorded jail conversation between Maddox and his brother revealed Maddox admitting he “just snapped,” saddened by the divorce. The paper also reported Maddox said it was Ruth Anne who had filed for the divorce and was angry about her husband’s attempts to get custody of their three animals and part of her retirement fund.
On the prosecution’s part, Scott County Attorney’s Office noted in a response to the appeal that the “extensive bodily injuries” Ruth Anne suffered, and remarks Maddox made to co-workers that he was thinking about killing his wife prove the second-degree murder conviction should not be overturned.