JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — James Addie lived two lives. That’s how prosecutors described Addie who is standing trial in the death of 35-year-old Huntsville resident, Molly Watson.
Watson was found shot to death April 27, 2018, in a remote area of western Monroe County.
Addie, 54, who was employed as a senior officer at the Moberly Correctional Facility, is being tried on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Though married to his wife of 22 years, Melanie Addie, Addie was engaged to marry Watson on April 29 in Columbia. Investigators said that his wife had no idea that he had been dating Watson for at least seven years. The couple met while employed at the prison.
In a short opening statement, Assistant Missouri Attorney General Katharine Dolin, who prosecuting the case against Addie with Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Smith, said the Watson was living a double life.
“Molly Watson was planning the wedding of her dreams with her finance, James Addie,” Dolin said as she turned to look at Addie, who was sitting to her side. “They dated for seven years. They had gone on romantic trips together. They had gone to Disneyland and Cancun. They talked every single day. The big day was planned for April 29 of 2018. They had gone to the County Recorder’s Office to get their marriage license.”
She said that the wedding was carefully planned, including a menu that featured prime rib, a guest seating chart and placards for the wedding party table calling her “Mrs. Addie.”
“There was just one small problem James Addie was already married to his wife of 22 years, Melanie Addie. Melanie Addie was a teaching assistant in Mexico Public Schools. They lived in three-bedroom house. They shared two children, a son and a daughter,” Dolin said.
Dolin said that Addie “made a choice” on April 27.
“The body Molly Watson’s body was on a found on a rural unpaved road by a passerby who was taking a shortcut home,” Dolin said. “Molly was shot once. Contact range in the back of her head, her engagement ring still on her hand. A perfect tire track in the moist soil.”
Addie’s attorney, James Kirsch, called the prosecution’s case weak, lacking direct evidence that his client murdered Watson.
“Fill in the gaps. That is what the state of Missouri is asking you to do,” Kirsch told the jury in his opening statement. “The evidence will show that the state of Missouri does not have a case for guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Kirsch said that law enforcement officers “jumped to a conclusion” that Addie committed murder without “relevant facts” in the case.
“Yes, Jim had an affair,” he said. “Within six hours after her body being discovered, without knowing all of the infinite amount of potentially relevant information and jumped to a conclusion because Jim had an affair.”
He said that Addie cooperated with investigators, allowing them to search his car. Moreover, Kirsch said that Addie intended to marry Watson on April 29.
“Evidence will show the wedding planning was going swimmingly, that he was participated in the wedding planning. On April 27, Jim paid $4,000 of the remaining. He was even dropping off decorations. That is where the state’s case makes no sense,” Kirsch said.
Dolin, though, focused on what she called inconsistencies with what Addie told investigators, including what time he got home on the night of Watson’s murder and what clothing he was wearing the night of the murder.
She said that Addie told investigators that he arrived at his home around 8:30 p.m., while she said his daughter, who was doing homework, reported that Addie arrived home at 10 p.m.
Dolin also said the tire track evidence shows that Addie’s car was at the scene of Watson’s murder. Kirsch unsuccessfully sought to get the tire evidence thrown out in December.
Watson’s body was discovered by a passerby at around 10 p.m. in a rural area of western Monroe County on a gravel road east of the intersection of Mo. 151 and Route M, near Middle Grove.
Prosecutors called eight witnesses Monday.
Monroe County Sheriff Joe Colston, who was serving as chief deputy at the time of Watson’s death described the crime scene and the position of Watson’s body.
He said after an Internet search found that Watson was planning to marry Addie, investigators traveled to Addie’s home outside of Santa Fe, near the Audrain County line in southern Monroe County, to make a notification of her death.
However, investigators quickly discovered that Addie was still married and started to question him.
Madison resident Glen McSparren of Madison who discovered Watson told jurors that he encountered a man who police said was Addie at low water creek crossing, where he saw two vehicles facing each other. He was unable to identify the man
“I was taking a shortcut” taking his daughter to her grandmother’s house.
McSparren said he talked briefly with the man he encountered, deciding to circle back about 20 minutes later.
“He was acting suspicious, acting a little weird,” McSparren said. “I came back through the other way and there is a woman on the laying in the ground,” he said, adding that he immediately called 911 dispatchers.