Convicted of murder, woman takes her life

Friday, May 1, 2009

By Lindsay Reed

After listening to a jury pronounce her guilt, Adella Fae Patton returned to her home in Monett and apparently killed herself. An unidentified male arrived at Patton's home at 1409 E. Bond St. shortly before 7 a.m. and found her lifeless body. Patton was due in Barry County Circuit Court this morning at 9 a.m. for the penalty phase of her trial.

Monett Police Chief Tim Schweder confirmed Patton's identity and said his detectives are now investigating her death. The Barry County Coroner will determine the cause of death following an autopsy.

Patton's guilty verdict was returned last night at around 8:45 p.m. after five hours of deliberation by the jury. Patton was found guilty of murder in the second degree and armed criminal action in the shooting death of Kevin Madison on Dec. 11, 2005. Jurors returned the guilty verdict after listening to four days of testimony by law enforcement officers, witnesses and forensics experts.

Prior to closing arguments, defense attorney John Lewright called Patton to the stand to testify. Although she was given extensive information regarding her right to remain silent in the courtroom, Patton submitted to questioning by both Lewright and Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox.

Patton recounted a trip she took with Madison and his son, Brandon, to a casino in Oklahoma when the three stopped at a convenience store near Seneca where Madison's ex-wife was working.

"Brandon said, 'Don't stop here. You know this is where mom works. Quit stalking her,'" said Patton. "I was embarrassed. He laughed. He thought it was funny."

According to Patton, she asked Madison about his ex-wife later at the casino.

"He told me that he did five years flat for holding a gun to her head, beating her and endangering the well-being of the children," said Patton. "He was kind of proud of it. He was crowing."

Patton also gave testimony regarding an incident that occurred in Lawrence County when Kevin was arrested for assaulting her.

"I was at my mother's house," said Patton. "I was staying there to get a break. I just couldn't take the beatings.

"I saw him drive in so I locked the door, but he continued to make quite a scene, and no one was there so I went out," said Patton. "He beat the heck out of me. That was the first time. He broke my glasses, and I had goose eggs all over my head."

Patton said she called the police and reported the assault, which Madison was convicted of in 2003. After Madison was released from prison, Patton allowed him to move back in with her. After a short time, Patton and Madison split up again and she moved into a trailer in Exeter where Madison was later shot.

Patton admitted that she made several calls to the home of James "Billy" Lomax on Dec. 10, 2005. She testified that she was calling to ask Madison to pick up some deer meat stored in her freezer.

"I needed to put two angel foods in the freezer," said Patton. "His deer meat was in the way. I called because when I get my mind set on something I want done, I want it done."

Patton said she also wanted Madison to pick up a present that she had purchased for Brandon's 21st birthday.

According to Patton, when Madison arrived at her home, she took the deer meat out to him.

"I put it in the back of his truck and he said, 'you're going to hurt my truck. It's brand new.' He got so mad and he started hitting and yelling at me," Patton said. "It scared me so bad. I was positive I was going to die. It was horrifyingly scary."

Patton said that she went into the trailer and retrieved a gun. She claimed she was afraid that Madison would throw a rock and come into her home so she went back outside to confront him.

"I fired a warning shot, but he stepped toward me," said Patton. "I said stop or I'm going to shoot, and he had a hold of the gun with me. He pulled down and it shot. I was so upset."

According to Patton, she went inside and dialed 911 then went back out to try to stop the bleeding where Madison was shot in the forehead.

Lewright presented the court with photos of Patton that were taken at her home on the day of the shooting and at the Barry County Jail five days after the shooting, which showed several bruises.

On cross examination, Cox questioned Patton regarding the statement that Madison grabbed the pistol before he was shot on Dec. 11, 2005. Cox asked Patton if she reported this fact to any of the officers who responded to the scene.

"I was confused at that time," said Patton. "They kept firing questions at me."

Cox asked Patton where Madison was standing when she fired the warning shot.

"He was checking out his new truck, man," said Patton. "I fired the warning shot up in the air, and then he started coming toward me real fast. He was mad."

Cox also presented two letters that were sent to Madison while he was in prison. Although Patton had difficulty identifying small portions of the letters, she admitted that the majority of the handwriting was her own. When asked if she recalled writing the letters, which stated that she lied about the assault charges in 2003, Patton admitted that she did.

Patton stated that Madison told her to write the letters for his parole board so that he would be allowed to live with her again when he was released.

"So you were lying about a lie?" asked Cox. "And now you are telling the truth on all the items finally?"

After the jury received their instructions, closing statements were made by Barry County Assistant Prosecutor Pat Sullivan and Lewright.

Sullivan recounted testimony tof 22 witnesses who were called by the state during the trial.

"Adella said that Kevin 'clocked' her," said Sullivan. "What did she do? She went in the house and got a gun. Did she stay in the house? Did she call the police? Did she stay on the porch or the steps? No. Does this sound like someone who is scared of a man?"

Lewright's closing statements called into question the evidence gathered and processed by law enforcement officers. He also questioned the motive of several of the state's witnesses.

"In a murder trial, the state has the burden of truth not the defense," said Lewright. "All the evidence that has been presented is consistent with what Adella said today. A door wasn't going to stop anybody, especially a man in rage. She had a fear and it was a reasonable fear."

In his rebuttal, Cox again questioned the inconsistency of Patton's testimony and the information she gave law enforcement officers in 2005.

"Wasn't it important for Adella Patton, somewhere along the way when she talked to five different officers, to mention the fact that Kevin Madison grabbed the gun?" asked Cox. "The first mention we have heard of this was here today, because she knew that fits with the lab reports."

Cox also pointed out that Patton's testimony indicated that Madison was turned away from her when the warning shot was fired.

"When Adella was on the witness stand today did she appear to be a woman who could keep her cool?" asked Cox. "She didn't like it when I challenged her about the letters that she wrote.

"Adella was mad. She came out of that house and she shot Kevin Madison, boom, boom," said Cox. "It was not self defense. It was not justifiable homicide. It was not what Kevin Madison had coming to him. It was murder."

Lisa Schlichtman also contribued to this story.

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  • I'm glad that justice was served for the Madison family.

    Adella Patton probably killed herself because she couldn't believe that she had to actually be held responsible for her actions. She's been able to manipulate the system by her lies and now it no longer worked in her favor.

    Kevin Madison was no angel - but he didn't deserve what she did to him (and ultimately his family).

    Most of the *abuse* she claimed he did to her was actually self-inflicted so that she could be the "victim".

    Rest in peace now, Kevin Madison.

    -- Posted by golden75 on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 4:50 PM
  • Sounds like the man was indeed no angel as was stated..He served time in prison for holding a gun to his wife's head, beat her who knows how long and endangered the children?? Maybe Adella was getting some of the same. Her mistake was not staying in her house..his was going there in the first place. Why didn't he just tell her to junk the stuff if he didn't want trouble with her and wanted her to leave him alone? Sounds like he was psycho as well. Not worthy of being shot down maybe, but should have stayed in prison until he was rehabbed and learned to quit beating up women and to control himself.

    -- Posted by pawscause on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 2:36 PM
  • Kevin was not a psycho, He did not beat his wife, nor did he beat Della. I think you need to read the story over, she fell down the stairs and wanted him to leave work to baby her. He was busy working and thats why she called the law. She was the psycho, and the abuser. So back off pawscause because you only heard her side of the story.

    -- Posted by opinioncounts on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 3:28 PM
  • Ok so just a question. So since a person has made mistakes or is not perfect they deserve to be murdered. Also what you are saying is that since he also wasnt perfect he shouldnt be able to be there for his daughter or his grandchildren or walk his daughter down the isle on her wedding day. If you dont notice but what this KILLER has done was taken a FATHER from a person that deserved to have her father! Deserved to have her wedding day with her dad walking her down the isle! Not only did she take that from his daughter! She took that away from his grandchildren, neices, nephews, brothers, sisters, mother, and father!! So before you all say it is ok for what this murder has done sit back and think how you would feel if your parent or sibling was taking from you! Also a little thinker, wouldnt you think if he was so horrible that he wouldnt have so many family members missing him??? Tell me who is missing her? Where was her children?? O did you not know she had children? Maybe because they knew how she was. HMMMM Maybe you should think before you speak!!! Also just fyi. This wasnt the first time she tried or suceeded with killing a man she was with.. So why dont you all just leave my family alone and let us heal! Let us miss our family member in peace!!!

    -- Posted by fatherless on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 2:26 PM
  • Why do our judges continue to let convicted violent criminals go home? Once convicted they should be taken into custody to await sentencing.

    -- Posted by thesmartman on Wed, May 20, 2009, at 1:16 PM
  • Wow, the story notes that there was conflicting testimony, credibility problems, stalking, abuse, guns, and poor judgement all around. The slant of the story would make it seem that abused women in Barry County would have a tough time getting a jury to understand all the things that go on in an abusive relationship. Likewise, the statements that others have made here would indicate that there is little sympathy to the woman who took her own life.

    I hope that the families of both parties have the opportunity to get counseling to make sure that whatever went on here doesn't raise its head in their lives later.

    -- Posted by one voice on Thu, May 21, 2009, at 1:29 AM
  • I'm a firearm instructor. Part of my job involves teaching civilians and law enforcement officers how to conduct themselves immediately following a critical incident such as a shooting. Rule 1: Say as little as possible to the police for at least 24 hours.

    The reasons for this have nothing to do with getting an attorney or trying to figure out the best way to spin our story. It's just that it's VERY common for people, even those making every effort to be truthful and helpful, to leave out or get wrong even major details about the event.

    Because of the way our brains work when under great stress, our memories of the event may be very wrong.

    I'd be willing to bet every officer on the Monette PD is aware of this. I'd also be willing to bet they've been trained not give a statement for 24 hours (and if they haven't, they should be).

    That Adella didn't recall Madison grabbing the gun until later is entirely plausible. It's a shame her attorney didn't have someone available to educate the jury.

    Such a waste.

    -- Posted by Steve C on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 2:00 PM
  • "Wasn't it important for Adella Patton, somewhere along the way when she talked to five different officers, to mention the fact that Kevin Madison grabbed the gun?" asked Cox. "The first mention we have heard of this was here today, because she knew that fits with the lab reports."

    Soooo...even though the facts as presented by the lab, show that Madison grabbed the gun, it doesn't matter because Patton didn't mention it till the trial? What a bunch of hooey! For the lab to corroborate her story, Madison's hands had to have been covered with the carbon deposits from the muzzle blast along with burning or injury from the discharge. This evidence alone (with or without Patton's testimony)would indicate that there was sufficient evidence that the round which killed Madison may have discharged accidently. Since the Prosecution has the burden of proof and had to show that Patton murdered Madison without a shadow of a doubt, this trial should have been easy to appeal. She should have been convicted of no higher crime than Voluntary Manslaughter.

    -- Posted by montresor on Thu, Jun 4, 2009, at 9:18 AM
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