Maxwell Trial Continues: Evening Updates



Points made during prosecutor Mark Moody’s cross examination:

  • Maxwells had money for two laptops, other electronics and a new back porch and furniture but not for a door for Erin’s room
  • Prosecutor: Erin was getting into the cleaning supplies and your solution was to lock up Erin  and not the cleaning supplies?
  • Maxwell maintained she noticed smell of cat urine  only if litter boxes needed to be cleaned
  • A coworker complained to her in March 2008 that she smelled of urine. She changed her clothes.
  • Lots of cat feces in the bedroom in the last two months of Erin’s life, as Lynn Maxwell slid into depression over her mother’s death.  She admits the feces at that time may haveput her health in danger.
  • She maintained  that the large stain in Erin’s room was from Erin’s body evacuating itself as she died.  Evacuation tends to happen at death, which happened 12 hours later in a Syracuse hospital,but she said that it is not unknown for it to happen as the body is shutting down.

Short break…cross exam continues shortly.


Lynn Maxwell’s directtestimony is over with no new assertions of note.  Outside,she’s giving an interview.  “It’s hard to go through the memories,” she said.

Assistant DA Mark  Moody gets to question her after the break…


Lynn Maxwell testified:

  • She saw some feces in State Police photos takenAugus t 31, but the house was clean ofcat feces on August 29
  • Except for the piles of feces in the bedroom, where 60 cats were kept.  She said her depression after the death of her mother affected her
  • Basic cleanliness was observed in the home — sheets were cleaned weekly
  • Erin cleaned herself
  • Stains on sheets and a pillow came from Erin’s nail polish.  A hole in a blanket — Erin’s favorite blanket, she said – came from a family dog that Erin kept letting into the home.
  • The Maxwells sought help to get cats spayed or neutered but they could not come up with money for the required donation.
  • “There was nothing” about conditions in the home “that was a threat to her,” Lynn Maxwell said.

She’s still testifying.  More later….

UPDATE 2: A quick closed-door meeting underway.  Lynn Maxwell said on the stand that there was no cat feces that she knew of on the floor of the house when she and Lindsey left for Wal-Mart hours before Erin’s death on August 29. The argument wil be that the feces happened in  the days after  Erin’s death,when State Police had control of the house.

Evidence photos showing feces are from August 31.

More later …

UPDATE 1: A small surprise at thesgtart of court.  The defense put Lynn Maxwell’s testimony on hold long enough to get the testimony of Dr. Donald Levin of Liverpool.  He’s the dermatologist treating Palermo firefighter Debra Denery.

He testified:

  • Denery’s psoriasis probably wasn’t caused by flea bites but could have made it worse.
  • Denery begqn treatment a full year before the day she said she was bitten by fleas at the Maxwell home
  • Her treatment continues today.
  • Levin said Denery appeared to have bites on both  of her legs.
  • The bites weree, in his words, “very mild”.
  • The bites did not appear to have come from ticks, such as deer ticks which carry Lyme Disease, but there was no way to know for sure what bit her.

Lynn Maxwell’s testimony is resuming now.

We’ll stop by  on recesses to update you on Wednesday night’s developments in the trial  of Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell, accused of misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of Erin Maxwell.

Erin died last year but her father and stepmother are not accused in her death.

The Palermo Town Courtroom is full again, as has become the norm for this unusual trial.

Lynn Maxwell will return to the witness stand.  Erin’s stepmother testified for nearly three hours last night and her lawyer’s direct examination is still going on.

Updates as we can…