A northern Missouri man convicted in the high-profile 2018 murder of his secret fiancee will be sentenced on Monday morning in Jefferson City.
54-year-old James Addie’s April jury trial drew national media coverage, and the trial was broadcast live on Court TV. The murder happened in northeast Missouri’s Monroe County, and the case was moved to Cole County on a change of venue.
The jury was selected from Cole County, because of the pretrial publicity in northern Missouri.
The jury deliberated for more than two hours on April 29 before returning guilty verdicts against Addie, who’s from Mexico, Mo. Addie has been convicted of first degree murder and armed criminal action for the 2018 death of Molly Watson, his fiancee.
Under Missouri state law, the penalties for first degree murder are death by lethal injection or life in prison, without parole. Because the state is not seeking the death penalty, Cole County Judge Jon Edward Beetem’s only option is life in prison, without parole.
Monday’s sentencing hearing will begin at 10 am, and it’s unclear if Addie will take the witness stand. Missouri assistant attorney general Katharine Dolin is handling the prosecution, and Addie’s defense attorney is T.J. Kirsch of Jefferson City.
Addie and Watson both worked at the Moberly Correctional Center (MCC). Dolin told the jury in April that Addie killed his fiancee to hide his affair from his wife. Watson was killed on April 27, 2018, just days before the wedding, according to Dolin.
Assistant Attorney General Dolin says Addie had been married for 22 years at that time, to a teaching assistant in Mexico. Dolin says Addie was living two lives.
“And the planning of the April 2018 wedding to Molly Watson set those two lives on a collision course,” Dolin told the jury in April.
Watson’s body was found on a dusty road in rural Monroe County. She had been shot once at contact range in the back of the head, according to Dolin. Watson was wearing her engagement ring, when she was killed.
Counselor Kirsch told the jury that Monroe County law enforcement officers jumped to conclusions because of the affair. Kirsch said that Addie had an affair with someone he loved.
Kirsch argued that the evidence showed that Addie cooperated by speaking with investigators, as well as volunteering the cell phone and admitting to the affair. Kirsch also says Addie consented to searches.
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