MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Having recounted in detail how she was drugged, driven from house to house and raped by four men six months ago, a 20-year-old Springfield woman fended off the skeptical questions and insinuations of defense attorneys for about an hour Monday at a preliminary hearing for three of those charged with the crimes.
The woman acknowledged that because she had been drugged, she did not at times know where she was or what was happening the night of Aug. 20 and the following day.
But when Dan Purdy, the attorney for James F. Maggard Jr., 33, asked if she could recall willingly having sex with another defendant, Zachery Wade, 29, before Wade brought her to the house near Everton where she testified that she was first raped, she replied with exasperation: "I know I did not willingly have sex with any of these men."
Associate Judge Scott Sifferman decided at the conclusion of the hearing in Lawrence County Circuit Court to order Maggard, Wade and Donnie L. Willis, 56, to stand trial on kidnapping, rape, assault and drug charges.
Maggard faces two counts of first-degree rape and single counts of first-degree sodomy, first-degree assault, kidnapping, sex trafficking and delivery of a controlled substance. Wade faces the same charges but one less count of rape. The Lawrence County prosecutor has charged Willis with rape, assault, kidnapping and delivery of a controlled substance.
The trio and two other co-defendants, David W. Arnold, 46, and Wanda Maggard, 53, all of rural Everton, have been held without bond since their arrests last year. Wanda Maggard in December was ordered to stand trial. Arnold has not yet had a preliminary hearing.
The woman testified Monday that Wade came to her home and picked her up the day in question, ostensibly to hang out with him in downtown Springfield. They stopped at a convenience store, she gave him money to go in and get her a soft drink, which he brought out to her.
"I did not know that anything had been put in my cup," she told the court on direct examination by Assistant Prosecutor Dan Brogdon.
Soon "a whole wave just took over my body," she said. She began to get dizzy, her muscles seemed to slacken and she felt herself becoming "incoherent." she said.
She kept asking Wade where they were going, but he wouldn't answer. They ended up at a house she learned was that of Maggard's father, James Maggard Sr., and mother, Wanda. She did not know where she was, did not know the Maggards or another man who was there, and she was starting to feel sick as she left with Wade.
"The next thing I remember is showing up at David Arnold's house," she told the court, adding that she had never been there before and did not know Arnold either.
James Maggard Jr. showed up a short time later and two of the three men approached her, held her down and injected her with drugs, she said. The younger Maggard and Wade then left her there with Arnold, who raped and sodomized her while she was in a severely drugged state, she told the court.
After a while, Maggard and Wade returned and all three men began "acting like they were helping me," repeatedly assuring her that everything was going to be OK. They took her into Arnold's bedroom, where Maggard and Wade took turns sexually assaulting her after forcibly injecting her a second time with drugs, she said.
Maggard took her into a shower with him to clean her up after raping her "several times," she said. The shock of the water must have revived her to some degree because she recalls catching her breath in the shower and being able to start "freaking out" about what was being done to her, she said.
"They did not like that," she said. "They did not like that at all. They told me to calm down."
But she was still quite sick from the drugs and unable to get away until Wade left with her the next morning. She thought he was finally taking her home. He instead picked up Wanda Maggard, whom they came upon walking down the road, and they went on a shoplifting spree at a number of stores in the Springfield area, she said. At most of the stores, she stayed in the vehicle sick while they went inside and stole things, she said.
Later, Wade dropped Wanda Maggard off at her house and took the woman to Willis' home next door. She was in the yard outside that house, still sick and throwing up, when Willis' daughter approached her and offered to help her. She gave her some medicine for her stomach and took her inside to a bathroom.
But then the daughter left as Donnie Willis walked in and once again held her down, injected her with drugs and raped her, she said.
She told the court that throughout the whole ordeal, she had been unable to locate her phone, which she knew she had with her when she first got into the vehicle with Wade. She said it was not until after Willis raped her that her phone mysteriously reappeared in the possession of his daughter, who told her she had found it on their porch.
The woman called her mother, told her what was happening and asked her to come get her. She said Willis' daughter provided an incorrect address. But her mother eventually arrived in the company of Lawrence County sheriff's deputies, and she was taken to a hospital, where a rape kit and toxicology tests were conducted as part of the investigation that led to the arrests of the five defendants.
Wade's attorney, Marc Edmondson, asked the victim if she had taken any prescription medication or illegal drugs that night, which she denied. He asked if she had ever used methamphetamine, and she acknowledged that she had in the past but not for more than a year before her ordeal.
Edmondson asked why she had not asked Wade to take her to the hospital when she began to feel strange. She indicated that she did not ask that because his involvement in what was happening was apparent.
"He knew what was going on," she said. "That's for sure."
She was asked if she had entered any of the stores with Wade and Wanda Maggard when they were on the shoplifting spree she described, and she acknowledged that she had gone in with them at a couple of businesses. At a Menards store, she had waved at the cameras in an effort to call attention to herself and make it apparent that she "was not in her right mind," she said.
Purdy asked her on cross-examination if her mother had given her pills to sell that evening while she was with Wade.
"No, sir," she said.
Didn't she give his client some pills for his back? Purdy wanted to know. And wasn't it true that she'd had sex with Wade, that she'd entered the shower while Maggard was already in there showering, and that Maggard had fixed everybody breakfast after they had sex with her? Purdy managed to ask each of those questions over repeated objections from Brogdon.
She denied each of his insinuations, finally letting out an exhalation of disgust at the notion of having joined in some celebratory breakfast cooked by one of her assailants.
Trial court appearances
Associate Judge Scott Sifferman set the initial appearances of Zachery Wade, James Maggard Jr. and Donnie Willis in a trial division of Lawrence County Circuit Court for March 9.