Maxwell indicted on murder charges

Accused of killing Centralia woman, tossing her in lake
2011-06-03T06:00:00Z Maxwell indicted on murder chargesBy Scott Fitzgerald, The Southern The Southern
June 03, 2011 6:00 am  • 

NASHVILLE - A Washington County grand jury returned four felony counts, including three alleging first-degree murder, against Clay B. Maxwell, 51, of Hoyleton.

He is accused of killing of Lauren Brooke Castellari, 27, of Centralia in April.

The bill of indictment, which also included a single count of concealment of homicidal death, was announced Thursday in Circuit Judge Dennis Hatch's court during a status hearing for the defendant.

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Maxwell and defense attorney Brian K. Trentman waived a formal arraignment.

Castellari's corpse was pulled from a quarry lake south of Nashville in early May. She was apparently killed when struck in the head with an unknown object on April 19.

A chain was wrapped around her waist and padlocked, and her body was submerged into the quarry lake at 18251 Mississippi Road, according to court documents.

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The defendant has pleaded not guilty to all counts. Hatch approved a motion for the appointment of Kevin McClain as a defense investigator. The court is awaiting further information before a request for a pathologist filed by the defense is ruled upon.

Land owners found Castellari's body on May 4 and notified authorities. She was eventually identified through the use of dental records. She had been missing since mid-April.

Maxwell was arrested and charged in May. He was denied bond and is incarcerated in the Washington County jail.




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