One-year-old murder case is heading back to court

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A year after an Exeter man was shot and killed, the woman accused of his murder is free on bond and preparing for a preliminary hearing.

Adella Fae Patton, 45, of Exeter, was charged with second degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the shooting death of 45-year-old Kevin Madison, also of Exeter.

Patton was arrested and charged with the crime on Dec. 11, 2005. She was held in Barry County Jail on $250,000 cash bond.

On March 21, Patton was transferred to Fulton State Hospital after being committed to the custody of the Missouri Division of Mental Health for care and treatment.

Patton's attorney, John Lewright, of Cassville, filed a motion for release from treatment on Aug. 25, and on Nov. 29, Patton was free on bond.

Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox said mental health professionals have decided that Patton is now competent to assist in her own defense and court proceedings can now continue.

Originally, Patton's preliminary hearing was scheduled to be held on Feb. 27, but issues of mental competency were raised and the court process delayed.

Cox said the next step in the process will be for the judge to set a new date for a preliminary hearing. A date for that hearing has not yet been set.

Patton's case is scheduled for review in Barry County Associate Circuit Court this Thursday, Dec. 21.

Madison's dead body was discovered in the yard outside a residence owned by Patton. Barry County sheriff's deputies were called to scene on Dec. 11, 2005, and found Patton holding a rag over a wound on Madison's forehead.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by Barry County Detective Robert Evenson, Patton and Madison began arguing outside Patton's residence and then Madison, according to Patton, "clocked" her. Patton then told the detective that she went inside her home and retrieved a revolver she had purchased to allegedly protect herself against Madison.

Evenson's affidavit then states that Patton went outside with the gun and fired a round over Madison's head. When he made a move toward her, Patton said she fired another round, but this time, the bullet struck Madison in the forehead.

During a bond reduction hearing held on Dec. 22, 2005, Lewright argued that Patton was defending herself from Madison, who had served prison time for assaulting her in the past. The defense attorney presented three photographs of Patton taken after her arrest, which showed bruise marks on her face and chest.

In arguing against a bond reduction, Cox told the court that he had four witnesses who heard Patton threaten to shoot Madison prior to Dec. 11, 2005. Cox said Patton was angry with Madison for travelling to Arkansas to spend time with another woman.

Judge Michael Garrett denied Lewright's motion for bond reduction and ordered it remain at $250,000, an amount that Patton was not able to post until last month.

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