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Crime

Monroe County man sentenced to life in prison for fiancee’s death

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

A Monroe County man charged with murdering his fiancee was sentenced Monday to life in prison plus a decade.

A Cole County judge sentenced James Addie to life in prison without parole plus 10 years for the 2018 death of Molly Watson. Addie was convicted in April of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He was sentenced at that hearing to 20 years on the armed criminal action count, but sentencing for the murder conviction was delayed until Monday.

Addie asked Monday for a new trial, claiming poor work by his defense attorney.

"Cross examinations were either negligible or nonexistent, most statements made by the prosecution were neither questioned nor challenged," Addie said.

Addie was charged in Monroe County with the 2018 murder of Watson, whom he was dating for seven years. According to details at the April trial, Addie shot Watson point-blank in the back of her head. The trial was moved to Cole County on a change of venue.

He was scheduled to marry Watson in April 2018. At the trial, Addie's daughter and wife said they had no knowledge of the affair. When Watson was killed, Addie was still married to his wife of 23 years. Details at the trial revealed evidence including a T-shirt covered in blood and ammunition linking Addie to the crime scene.

Addie said prosecutors based some of their theory on speculation on how Addie was behaving the night of Watson's death. Addie criticized Kirsch for not questioning his wife and daughter more thoroughly on his whereabouts and his demeanor when he was seen at home that night.

Addie also wanted his attorney to put on evidence that one of Watson's exes may have had a motive to kill her. Addie claimed attorneys had evidence that the unnamed ex stalked Watson and had a history of violence.

"There was evidence that she was told that the ex would make sure she was never happy again," Addie said. "But that was never brought forward. That was in discovery, Mr. Kirsch knew about it."

Kirsch declined to comment on the hearing.

Monroe County Prosecutor Talley Smith did not say if such evidence existed. She said in a written statement after the hearing that she felt the jury served justice in the case.

"His actions destroyed two families: the family of his victim, Molly Watson, and his own," Smith said. "While nothing can bring Ms. Watson back to her family who loved her very much, society can send the strong message that violent crime will not be tolerated."

Addie has six months to file an appeal.

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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

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