OLYMPIA - Jurors heard opening statements Wednesday in the murder trial of Robert Maddaus, accused in court papers of fatally shooting Shaun Allen Peterson multiple times outside a Capitol Way residence in November 2009 while Peterson was handcuffed.
Maddaus thought Peterson had stolen five pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of marijuana and about $30,000 from Maddaus’ Rochester home, court papers state.
Maddaus, a 41-year-old with multiple felony convictions, including for dealing drugs, became enraged over the theft of the meth from his home in the 10000 block of 179th Avenue Southwest, according to court papers.
Prosecution witnesses are expected to testify that Maddaus had a handgun when he brought Peterson to an apartment in the 1800 block of Capitol Way on Nov. 15, 2009. Peterson was in handcuffs, and Maddaus repeatedly threatened Peterson’s life, court papers state.
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Peterson later was found shot and killed outside the apartment, just blocks from the Capitol. Neighbors testified Wednesday that they heard five gunshots, then saw a man run to a car that sped off.
Maddaus’ attorney, Richard Woodrow, said he will produce witnesses who will testify that a companion of Maddaus’ at the apartment, Matthew Tremblay, shot and killed Peterson.
Maddaus was arrested about two weeks after Peterson’s homicide while riding in a Corvette in Lewis County that contained meth and about $20,000 in cash.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Bruneau has said during prior court hearings that witnesses are frightened of Maddaus.
Maddaus has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed with a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon and second-degree kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon. He additionally faces four counts of tampering with a witness for allegedly trying to influence witnesses’ testimony through an intermediary after his arrest.
Maddaus faces between 40 and 50 years in prison if he is convicted in Peterson’s slaying.
The trial had been set to begin last week, but a judge dismissed the jury pool after two men were overheard discussing Maddaus’ criminal history during jury selection. The delay cost the court $3,300, and Superior Court Judge Christine Pomeroy said she’ll consider sanctions against the two men.