Jacoby Maize convicted of murder, arson, gun charges and brutalizing his wife

Jacoby Maize was convicted Friday (March 4) of repeatedly brutalizing his wife and of fatally shooting an acquaintance in his Old Jefferson home on the day after Easter Sunday in 2011, then returning to the crime scene the following day to set the house on fire.

Maize, 38, of Kenner, faces a mandatory life sentence in prison for the most serious of his seven charges: The April 25, 2011 second-degree murder of Justin Hendricks Jr., 34, who was shot and bled to death in his home in the 100 block of Maine Street.

The shooting happened after Hendricks anonymously called 911 to report that Maize pistol-whipped his wife in the Maine Street house. Maize shot him once in the hip, the bullet severing a femoral artery before exiting his body.

The jury also found Maize guilty of aggravated arson, for dousing Hendrick’s house with gasoline the day after the killing and igniting it in an attempt to destroy evidence. Expert testimony indicated that Maize’s fire endangered the lives of the residents in a neighboring house.

Maize additionally was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery, witness intimidation and aggravated assault with a firearm, all of which involved his wife.

The jury heard testimony about Maize shooting at her, pistol-whipping her, slicing her left cheek with a knife and ordering her to “kiss the ground” before beating her with a baseball bat. He threatened to kill her family if she told anyone he shot Hendricks.

Maize is “nothing but a low and cowardly abuser of women,” Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Truhe, told jurors in opening statements.

Additionally, Maize was found guilty of two counts of convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Because of his criminal history, Maize was barred from having guns and yet used one to beat his wife and to shoot Hendricks, prosecutors said. In testimony Friday, Maize indirectly admitted he possessed a Glock pistol “every day” during the period Hendricks was killed, in denying he had the gun used in the homicide.

The jury deliberated just over an hour in finding Maize guilty as charged of all seven counts. He showed no reaction. Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court will hand down the punishment March 28.

Maize denied all but the firearm possession charges. He accused his wife of killing Hendricks. He assailed the myriad witnesses who testified against him, including the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives who investigated and arrested him, Rhonda Goff and Sgt. Eddie Klein.

“All of your witnesses are liars, proven liars,” Maize told Freese during the cross-examination. “I’m like, you brought a bunch of liars.”

The jury also heard testimony from a Jefferson Parish man who said Maize shot him for no reason other than that he said hello to his wife on the morning of Easter Sunday 2011. That shooting happened at Tchoupitoulas and Upperline streets in Uptown New Orleans, when Maize, his wife, the man and two others were driving in Maize’s vehicle.

The man was able to get out of Maize’s vehicle and run. He said he was struck by three bullets before a he ran into the path of a truck that struck him, breaking one of his leg bones.

Maize’s wife, who was sleeping in their vehicle when her husband shot the man, testified she endured daily abuse but never called police or left the relationship.

“I wanted to be loved,” she testified. “I thought that was love. I thought I could get no better. I thought I found someone who wanted me and held my hand. So I stayed.”

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