FULTON - After questioning his financial status, Associate Circuit Judge Carol England on Thursday appointed a public defender for triple homicide suspect Joshua Maylee.
Maylee, 23, of Holts Summit, is accused of killing Jeffrey Werdehausen as well as Eugene and Jackie Pinet on Oct. 26. Gina Werdehausen was injured in the attack. Maylee was arrested in Cooper County after a two-day manhunt that involved hundreds of lawmen as well as tighter security at area schools.
Maylee appeared Thursday before England over a videoconferencing system from the Boone County Jail, where he is currently being held for the Callaway County Sheriff's Department.
Maylee told the judge he had no cash and that his equipment assets had liens at the bank, and that he was unable to pay for an attorney.
Public Defender Justin Carver argued against the appointment of a public defender.
"Mr. Maylee, do you remember filling out a public defender's application before the very first trial?" Carver asked. "At that time, you had $60,000 in the bank. You also said you had an excavator worth $60,000."
Maylee said at the time he had those things, but that he only owned part of the excavator, which he had purchased from his uncle. He noted that the $60,000 was gone, and he'd already promised the money to people by the time of his arrest.
Carver told England that spending the money on other items did not qualify Maylee for a public defender.
"In talking to my agency, even when we hire special counsel for capital cases, we pay them less than $60,000. He had that money, and it could have gone to counsel," Carver said. "It is unfair to put this cost on the taxpayers when he had the funds and chose to pay for other things."
Despite Carver's objection, England assigned the first-degree murder and assault cases, as well as one charge of theft, to the public defender's office. Lorri Kline, of Columbia, is listed as Maylee's attorney in another theft charge.
England told Carver that even though the money had been there at one point, it still was not and Maylee had to have counsel.
The judge scheduled an appearance at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 with a preliminary hearing on all of Maylee's cases set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 22.