INDIO, Calif. - A Lakewood woman whose husband enlisted a friend to help him murder his sister in La Quinta pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor accessory charge today and was sentenced to three years probation.
Madelyn Alexis Oudin, 63, was originally charged with a felony count of being an accessory in the June 10, 2011, slaying of 70-year-old Judy Munson. Oudin's husband, James, along with his friend Wesley Elwin Gibbs Jr. were convicted of murder in May 2012 and sentenced in January to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Johnson granted Madelyn Oudin's attorney's request to reduce the accessory charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, and also ordered her to pay $140 in restitution, according to court records.
Munson, who owned two successful cleaning businesses, was found by her housekeeper laying in the foyer of her home, surrounded by blood, on June 11, 2011. Deputy District Attorney Pete Nolan said a coroner's official initially thought Munson fell, and authorities called her brother, who was her closest relative. The Oudins came to the house and left with some of Munson's belongings, Nolan said.
``What we find out ... when the forensic pathologist conducted the autopsy, was this was no slip-and-fall,'' Nolan told jurors, adding that three blows to the victim's head had a checkered, textured pattern.
He said people who knew Munson ``all had the same impression -- she was supporting her brother and his family and was sick and tired of it.''
Madelyn Oudin told sheriff's investigators that she didn't know her husband had gone to La Quinta the day her sister-in-law died. But when authorities served the warrant at the Oudins' Lakewood home, they found a purse containing more than $400,000 in cash in Bank of America envelopes with what looked like Munson's writing on them, Nolan said.
Sheriff's Investigator Kenneth Patterson wrote in an arrest declaration that authorities ``determined that Madelyn was obviously aware of what was occurring and continually provided changing stories as to the whereabouts of James and Wesley during the time Judy had been murdered.''
Nolan said James Oudin filed documents in probate court asking to be appointed administrator of his sister's estate, even though she had a will and an executor, and later asserted that his sister had a stalker.
The prosecutor said Gibbs had worked for James Oudin at a failed restaurant business backed by Munson and subsequently worked at Subway.