Accused murderer dies in jail

A man accused or murder in Blount County was found dead in the Walker County Jail in Jasper early Monday morning.

Jimmy Lane Maxwell, 58, was found during a routine check by jailers. An autopsy will be performed but he is believed to have died from natural causes.

Maxwell was charged in the 2014 slaying of Donald Clayton Whited, who was found with his hands tied behind his back and a gunshot wound to the head in his burning home on Ebell Road.

Maxwell was indicted by a Blount County grand jury last year and he was being held in the Walker County Jail awaiting trial.

Maxwell was indicted on seven charges: capital murder during burglary, capital murder during arson, capital murder during kidnapping, capital murder for pecuniary gain, conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of animal cruelty. The victim’s two cats were killed during the incident.

Two others were arrested in the case and remain in custody at the Blount County Correctional Facility.

Kenneth Whited, the nephew of the victim, was charged with solicitation to commit capital murder and is being held without bond. Pamela Rains was charged with hindering prosecution and remains in custody with bond set at $80,000. A trial date has not been set.

The indictments allege that Maxwell was hired to kill Donald Whited by Kenneth Whited and that he gave the gun to Maxwell.