By RICHEL ALBRIGHT
Updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday
Murder suspect Randolph “Randy” Maidens of Brentwood appeared in Williamson County General Sessions Court Wednesday to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within his first 10 days of incarceration. More is being learned about the former area business manager who reportedly has a history of alcohol abuse.
Updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday
Dendreon Corporation, a biotechnical company focused on cancer research, responded with a brief statement regarding this morning’s BHP story on former employee and murder suspect Randolph Maidens.
Lindsay Rocco, executive vice president of corporate communications at Dendreon sent BHP the following statement:
“While we do not comment on personnel matters, we can confirm that Randolph Maidens is a former employee of Dendreon and that we are cooperating with authorities in their investigation of this tragic incident. We extend our sympathies to the victim’s family.”
Maidens, who was arrested on April 22 after an all-night manhunt, is charged with first degree murder in the April 21 shooting death of his wife, Rachael Maidens.
Brentwood murder suspect Randolph “Randy” Maidens waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and remained jailed in lieu of $2.5 million bond.
The next court date for Maidens, charged with first degree murder in the April 21 shooting death of his wife, Dr. Rachael Frisbie Maidens, is now scheduled at 1 p.m. on May 23.
Authorities say Maidens, 42, killed his wife, a 34-year-old Brentwood orthodontist, in their Governors Club home.
District Attorney Kim Helper told General Sessions Court Judge Al Nations Wednesday she plans to call two prosecution witnesses at the May 23 hearing, but did not elaborate on their identities.
Defense attorney Sandra Wells, who represents Maidens alongside note defense lawyer David Raybin, both of Nashville, told Nations that she plans to ask for a reduction of Maidens’ $2.5 million bond. She said she does not plan to have any witnesses at the upcoming hearing.
A shackled Maidens attended the hearing, but did not testify.
Since his arrest, acquaintances of Randy Maidens have contacted BHP to express their “shock and disbelief” over the incident that landed their friend in jail.
Two of Maidens’ former co-workers, whose identities were confirmed by BHP, spoke on the condition of anonymity after being warned by their employers they would lose their jobs if they spoke with reporters.
“He always spoke very lovingly of Rachael and Natalie,” said one of the co-workers at Dendreon, a biotechnical company focused on cancer research. Maidens was an area business manager for the company at the time of his arrest.
The co-workers said Maidens traveled regularly for his job, but worked from home when he wasn’t out-of-town on business. He was hired at Dendreon from Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals by two of his former Johnson & Johnson associates.
There has been speculation in the company that Randy Maidens had an unspecified substance abuse problem.
“They knew he had a problem,” a Dendreon employee told BHP. “When I worked with him he was sober and told me he used to have a problem. There were signs.”
A second Dendreon employee said Maidens was “drunker than a monkey” during Dendreon’s Tampa, Fla., national sales meeting in early January.
“He was slurring his words pretty badly; I told him he needed to go to bed,” the employee said.
Williamson County court documents indicate Maidens was charged with driving under the influence on Feb. 23 in Brentwood when he hit a transformer causing the power to go out in an area neighborhood.
BHP also has been told that about a month later Maidens was charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication at the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World while attending a Community Oncology Alliance conference with several of his fellow Dendreon employees.
Disney officials have declined to discuss the incident.
“He was drunk, smashing glasses and screaming he was going to kill his wife,” the second Dendreon employee told BHP. The other Dendreon employee said it appeared he had gotten in an argument with Rachael Maidens, who attended the conference with him.
“People tried to intervene and he started to throw punches,” the co-worker said of the COA incident.
Other sources say Maidens was bailed out of jail the following day by a Dendreon employee and advised to take a short amount of time off after the Orlando incident. He returned to work three days later.
“His behavior exhibited he was losing control and they really did nothing,” the first Dendreon employee told BHP. “I don’t know what drove Randy to do this but I truly believe he was not conscious enough to know what he was doing.”
The manner in which Rachael Maidens died has not yet been disclosed, but Brentwood Police said they discovered her body after concerned family called and requested a welfare check. Randy Maidens was not at the home when the police arrived, but they found the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Natalie, alone and unharmed. She is currently in the care of Rachael Maidens’ family.
Randy Maidens was the target of an overnight manhunt in the exclusive, gated community that police put on lockdown for most of the night while Brentwood Police, a Franklin Police K-9 unit, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team, and a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter searched for him.
An unarmed Maidens surrendered to Brentwood police officers just after 6 a.m. Monday, April 22, when he returned by foot to his Governors Way home.
Richel Albright is a reporter with Brentwood Home Page. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter @rwalbright.