In April 2018, the discovery of Molly Watson’s body late one night spurred an investigation that had James Addie at the center. To Molly and her family, James was her long-term boyfriend and husband-to-be. However, the investigation revealed that James was secretly living a double life and was already married to someone else. ABC News’ ‘20/20: Murder of Molly Watson’ chronicles a disturbing story with a fatal ending.
Who is James Addie?
James Addie worked as a lieutenant at the Moberly Correctional Center in Missouri. He met Molly when she had worked in some capacity at the prison. The two then began a relationship and, after seven years together, were supposed to get married in April 2018. However, Molly’s family didn’t know him so well. Her brother, Tim, said, “I’d only met him three times in the seven years they were together. It was just short conversations like, ‘Hi. Bye.’ He’d never look you in the eye; he was very evasive.”
After Molly was found murdered on a rural county road just days before the planned wedding, the authorities looked into James, who was then about 51 years old. To their surprise, they learned that James was already married to someone else for 22 years. When asked about the affair he had with Molly, he told the police, “I got myself involved in something I shouldn’t have.” Soon, he admitted to living separate lives, and his then-wife, Melanie, had no inkling of the affair that went on for many years.
The detectives had also found a second cell phone that he used to communicate with Molly, something that Melanie had no idea about. Molly’s mother, Sandi, stated that her daughter didn’t know about James’ other life and wondered why she even stayed with him. Sandi added, “He would never look you in the eye. I can’t understand why Molly, of all people, would put up with that. Sometimes I think maybe she was just scared to walk away.”
The prosecution claimed that James had Molly make the twenty-odd minute drive to the rural road where he shot and killed her execution-style. On the other hand, the defense contended that the police didn’t conduct a thorough enough investigation and that James was only guilty of having an affair and not killing a person. James’ lawyer said that his marriage with Melanie was strained, and he loved Molly.
James Addie is Serving His Sentence Now
In April 2021, a jury found James guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. His trial was postponed once in 2018 due to a change in venue, and in 2020, a mistrial was declared when the county couldn’t assemble a jury due to the pandemic. James received life in prison without the possibility of parole plus ten years for the murder and twenty years for armed criminal action.
After the conviction, Tim said in court, “Molly was my best friend, my sister, that I will never see again. This monster not only took her from [me] but all the family that loved her. This tragedy caused my mom to go over the edge before she passed away this year.” He did then try to appeal his conviction, but it was upheld in December 2022. Therefore, today, it seems that James is serving his sentence at a correctional facility in Missouri.
Read More: Where is Melanie Addie Now?