Monica Hart worked with Lynn Maxwell at Seneca Hill Manor nursing home near Minetto. They were friendly. They used to talk on breaks to smoke a cigarette.
It was Hart who touched off the post-court fury by shouting, “Bye, Lynn,” at Maxwell as police led her out of court to begin serving a two year jail term for the conditions in the home where stepdaughter Erin Maxwell was murdered.
You can count Hart among the people — teachers, social workers, friends and relatives — who saw signs of trouble at the home but could not believe anything so awful could have happened.
She said Lynn Maxwell used to have to change clothes when she came to work because she smelled like urine. Hart said Maxwell would explain that her husband, Lindsey, stayed home because they had only one vehicle. And often, the conversation turned to Erin, Lynn’s stepdaughter, who died while the Maxwells were at Walmart. Erin’s stepbrother, Alan Jones, will be sentenced soon for murdering her.
“She used to say she hated Erin,” Hart said of her talks with Lynn Maxwell about life at home.
“I wish she was f-ing dead,” Hart said Maxwell told her just days before Erin Maxwell’s death. “I’d like to kill that little f-ing bitch.”
Hart knows something about the issue of children and homicide. Her daughter was the victim of a murder suicide in 1999, she said. Police records show that Chantel Hart was murdered on June 13, 1999 by her estranged boyfriend, John Wilcox, after an argument at her home on Brackett Rd. in Hannibal.
“I feel so guilty,” she said of Erin’s death, starting to tear up.