BREAKING: Maxwell Trial Goes To Jury


UPDATE, 8:20 PM: The jury is having read to them for a second time the rules regarding whata constitutes endangering the welfare of a child.

They’re going back in to continue deliberating.


The fate of Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell is in the care of a jury in the town of  Palermo at this hour.

Lawyers for both sides summed up their cases Saturday afternoon.  Town Justice Robert Wood instructed the six person jury on the law and sent them off to make their decision at about 5:30p.m. Saturday.

The Maxwells are accused of endangering the welfare of their 11 year old daughter, Erin, last August.  Erin died in what police claim is a sexual assault and murder at the hands of stepbrother Alan Jones,  The Maxwells are not charged with her death, but instead with providing living conditions that endangered her welfare.  Each is charged with four misdemeanors,  for which the maximum punishment is 1 year in jail.

Defense lawyer Sal Lanza defended his clients in his closing comments.  He said that other people failed the family. He claimed police did not  tell the whole truth about the scene  at the Maxwell home and twisted the legal statements the Maxwells and a son gave to police in order to arrest the couple.  He said the bedroom was latched,but  not locked and Erin could get out easily and at will.

Prosecutor Mark Moody coined a new term for the condition of the home, which he called beyond disgusting: Maxwellian.  He said the Maxwells took no responsibility for the piles of cat feces in their home and treated Erin as they treated their cats — locked up in a room.