Emotions boiled over in the moments after a judge sent Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell to jail for two years for the deplorable conditions in the home in which 11 year old Erin Maxwell was murdered.
As the court proceeding ended, defense lawyer Sal Lanza asked the judge to order the more than 50 people who had come to the sentencing to stay in the courtroom while his clients were loaded into police vehicles for the trip to jail. Judge Robert Wood refused, but asked people to be on their best behavior.
Moments later, one of Lynn Maxwell’s former coworkers at Seneca Hill Manor nursing home said, “Bye, Lynn,” as police walked her away. Lanza shoulted back at the woman, including a comment about her weight, and the courtroom erupted in shouts.
“They’re out for blood,” Lanza said earlier in the evening of the people who had come faithfully to the Maxwells’ two week trial and again Monday to witness the sentencing. Some in the group believe the Maxwells killed Erin and got their son, Alan Jones, to take the rap for it.
The crowd was waiting for the Maxwells when they emerged, in custody, from the side door of the town hall, a short walk to State Police vehicles.
“Hope you’re happy,” one shouted at Lindsey Maxwell. “You’re alive, she’s dead,” shouted another at Lynn Maxwell.
Lanza then began yelling above the noise of the crowd. “Go home to your trailers,” he taunted. “Go home and collect your welfare checks.” He kept up a steady stream of insults as Troopers buckled the Maxwells into their seats and closed the doors.
If his idea was to deflect the crowd’s anger away from his clients and onto him, it worked. The insults came his way, even as he promised his clients that he’d have them out of jail Tuesday. He plans to ask a judge to release the Maxwells on bail while their appeal winds through court.
“Sal Lanza had no right to call anyone names,” said Colleen Scott, who runs the website Justice4Erin.com. “We’ve been holding it in for a long time.”