OLYMPIA - Robert Maddaus took the stand Monday during his murder trial and repeatedly denied shooting Shaun Allen Peterson during the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2009.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Bruneau suggested that Maddaus, 41, shot and killed Peterson because he believed Peterson had stolen five pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of marijuana and about $30,000 from Maddaus’ safe in his Rochester home .
“I wanted it back,” Maddaus conceded during Bruneau’s cross examination.
“You would kill to get it back,” Bruneau answered.
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“I didn’t kill anybody,” Maddaus said.
Maddaus is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges related to Peterson’s death . Peterson, a 40-yearold father, was found at 2:43 a.m. that day in handcuffs and with multiple gunshot wounds, lying in the street in the 1800 block of Capitol Way
During the four-week trial, other witnesses have testified that Maddaus and another man, Daniel Tremblay, brought Peterson to a Capitol Way residence in handcuffs the previous night. They testified that Maddaus, armed with a pistol, had a tape recording of a cell phone conversation that he believed implicated Peterson in the theft of drugs and money from his home.
Maddaus testified Monday that he went to the Capitol Way home because he wanted to see if a man he sold drugs to there could use a computer to erase ambient noise from the recording so he could better hear the voices on it.
Witnesses at the home that night have testified that after Peterson left the house on Capitol Way still wearing handcuffs, Tremblay and then Maddaus followed him outside. Maddaus had a pistol when he left, the witnesses have testified. The witnesses also have testified that they then heard gunshots in the street. Peterson was later found dead outside. One of the witnesses at the home, Daniel Leville, has testified that Maddaus later admitted to him that he shot Peterson.
But Maddaus testified Monday that he was inside the house in the 1800 block of Capitol Way when the shots rang out that killed Peterson.
Maddaus’ attorney, Richard Woodrow, has said that others also have testified that people in the Capitol Way home that night had told them that Maddaus was inside, not outside, when the shots were fired.
Woodrow also has brought witnesses before the jury who testified that Tremblay told them he accidentally shot Peterson that night.
Tremblay has testified that Maddaus shot Peterson.
During Monday’s cross examination, Bruneau peppered Maddaus with questions about how Maddaus allegedly tried to get multiple witnesses to provide him with a false alibi after Peterson’s murder, even after Maddaus had been arrested and jailed for allegedly committing the murder.
According to court papers, on Nov. 26, 2009, before Maddaus was arrested, he approached Theodore Farmer, a local tattoo artist, and told Farmer he needed an alibi witness. Farmer said Maddaus told him, “It would be in your best interest if you helped me out. It would be worth your while.” Farmer said Maddaus was wearing a long blond wig during the meeting.
Farmer said in court records that he interpreted the comment as a threat, or a promise of drugs and money in exchange for false testimony.
Maddaus admitted on the witness stand that he asked for false alibis from two people, Farmer, and a woman who works in the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Both declined to testify that Maddaus was in Tumwater at the time of Peterson’s fatal shooting, according to court testimony.
“She didn’t come forward with your lying alibi, did she?” Bruneau asked Maddaus of the woman .
“No,” Maddaus responded.
Woodrow suggested that Maddaus wanted the false alibis because he wanted to avoid talking to police, not because he killed anyone.
Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org