OLYMPIA - Robert Maddaus' obsession with punishing those who stole five pounds of methamphetamine and $30,000 from the safe in his Rochester home led him to blame, then murder, Shaun Allen Peterson, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.
“No one but this defendant had a motive to kill Shaun Peterson,” Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Bruneau said of Maddaus during closing arguments in Maddaus’ first-degree murder trial.
Maddaus’ attorney, Richard Woodrow, pointed the blame at one of Maddaus’ associates, Matthew Tremblay, who had joined Maddaus and Peterson at a Capitol Way residence Nov. 16, 2009, the night of the murder.
Woodrow also told the jury during closing statements that witnesses who implicated Maddaus in Peterson’s murder are not to be trusted because they all are heavy meth users. Also, nearly all of them have felony records, said Woodrow, who suggested they made up stories to cut deals and avoid prosecution.
He said witnesses who testified Maddaus was outside the Capitol Way residence when Peterson was murdered had earlier told others a different story, that Maddaus was inside when the shots were fired and thus could not have committed the murder.
Woodrow said Peterson’s homicide was “an accidental shooting by Matthew Tremblay.”
Tremblay had earlier testified that Maddaus shot Peterson.
Maddaus’ three-week jury trial shed grim light on the shadowy world of meth dealing in Thurston County. Maddaus testified that he’d never considered calling police after the theft of drugs and money from his home but instead set upon finding out who was responsible himself. His intent, he testified, was to get the drugs and money back.
Maddaus added during his testimony Tuesday, “I didn’t kill anybody.”
Maddaus’ customers testified that in the days after the theft, Maddaus became increasingly paranoid and suspicious of those who regularly purchased narcotics from him. “Everybody was a suspect,” witness Daniel Leville told the jury.
Peterson, a 40-year-old father, was found dead of multiple gunshots wounds in the street a block or two away from Leville’s apartment.
During closing arguments, Bruneau also called the jury’s attention to Maddaus’ numerous attempts to create an alibi, both before Maddaus’ arrest and afterward.
Maddaus also is charged with second-degree kidnapping, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, four counts of tampering with a witness and second-degree assault for allegedly attacking a woman who was in his home during the theft of drugs and money. Maddaus is accused of attacking her in an attempt to find out who committed the theft.
The jury will continue its deliberations this morning.