Columbia County man accused in attacks has long criminal past

Michael Maxwell, 46, of 1513 Blair St., Evans, has been incarcerated at least six times since 1986 for charges that include motor vehicle theft, burglary and driving under the influence, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

(Editor's Note: A previous version of this story had an incorrect address for the suspect.)

 

A Columbia County man who is accused of attacking three women in three counties Saturday night has a long criminal history.

Michael Maxwell, 46, of 200 block of Ray Owens Road,  Appling, has been incarcerated at least six times since 1986 for charges that include motor vehicle theft, burglary and driving under the influence, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

He was released from Wayne State Prison in August 2007 after serving close to two years for motor vehicle theft.

On Saturday, a man later identified as Maxwell began a series of attacks at Augusta Mall, authorities said. Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Gay said Maxwell approached a woman in the parking lot around 8:30 p.m. and tried to kidnap her or take her car. She fought back, and he ran away.

About 30 minutes later, he accosted a Columbia County woman. The 31-year-old was driving home when another vehicle began following her and eventually blocked her in her driveway.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said a man "violently attacked" her, punching her in the face and trying to force her into his vehicle.

She escaped and locked herself in her vehicle. A neighbor saw what was happening, so he fled.

About 10 p.m., an Edgefield, S.C., couple discovered found a man had broken into their home on Red Hill Road, cut the power and hidden in a closet.

When the husband went to check the circuit breakers, the intruder beat him with a tire iron and kidnapped his wife.

The woman later told deputies she recognized the man as Maxwell, who was an employee of a construction company that had worked on their home.

Edgefield County authorities said the woman was able to persuade Maxwell to let her go on Martintown Road and wasn't harmed.

McDuffie County deputies found Maxwell in his vehicle Monday at a service station off Interstate 20.

Maxwell was being held Monday at Columbia County Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault and kidnapping. He faces charges of kidnapping in Richmond County and charges including burglary, attempted murder, kidnapping and attempted sexual conduct in Edgefield County.