A Custody Battle Turned Deadly In The Most Unlikely Location

A married Texas couple was gunned down in the parking lot of a rural country church.

Nathan Maddox [left] and Krystal Maddox [right] were shot to death in the parking lot of a Texas church on January 18, 2014.

After months of fighting for the opportunity to see his daughter, Madi, Nathan Maddox and his wife, Krystal, were finally granted access to supervised visits. Just after noon on January 18, 2014, dispatchers received a frantic 911 call from the church where Nathan and Krystal had been enjoying their supervised visit with Madi. The couple had been shot in the parking lot.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Krystal Maddox was born to be a mom, and she wasted no time working on a family after she graduated from high school.

She married soon after graduation, and her oldest, Madison, was born when she was 19. By the time she was 27, she was a mom to four children — three girls and a boy — under seven. She found herself separated from her husband when her youngest was just a year old.

Krystal worked long shifts as a CNA in a nursing home to provide for her kids, but she still centered her life around her family. She was a creative mom who dreamed up all kinds of games and parties for her kids, and she got her daughters involved in beauty pageants.

Her creativity combined with the pageant world allowed her to launch an online boutique for bows and children’s pageant dresses.

“She just made it all work. I don’t know how she did it,” Krystal’s mom, Rhonda Humphus recalled.

Krystal’s luck in love took a turn one night in 2011, when she ran into a school friend, Nathan Maddox.

Nathan was newly divorced after his ex-wife, Kristen Westfall, filed an abandonment complaint on him while he was working out of state. The pair shared a daughter, Madi, though Kristen and her parents, Paul and Letha Westfall, worked to keep Nathan away as much as possible.

Though Nathan stepped into Krystal’s life and loved her four kids as his own, he still felt the hole in his heart from being kept away from his own daughter.

A custody battle for Madi raged on as Nathan and Krystal married in 2012 and began building a life together under one roof. In early 2013, Kristen was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, and Madi was placed into the temporary custody of Paul and Letha.

Once they had custody, Paul and Letha denied Nathan and Krystal all access to see Madi.

Getting Madi Back

Nathan and Krystal wanted to have all the kids under the same roof, so they filed for custody of Madi and began working extra shifts to earn enough to pay for a lawyer. They held yard sales, started a GoFundMe, and worked lots of overtime. Finally, in December 2013, the court granted Nathan supervised visits with his daughter. Visits were to take place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and while he had to do the first two visits alone, Krystal could join him for visits after that.

When his ex-wife requested that the visits take place at Mount Carmel Baptist Church just a mile from her home, Nathan agreed.

Just after noon on Saturday, January 18, 2014, dispatchers received a frantic 911 call. It was Letha Westfall calling from the church where Nathan and Krystal had been enjoying their supervised visit with Madi. The couple had been shot in the parking lot.

For more on this case, tune into American Monster on ID June 26 at 9/8c. Or stream on discovery+.

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