CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A west Charlotte man is behind bars charged with murder -- for the second time in his life.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged Joe Willie Maddox, 70, with shooting Diane Burns, 51, to death Saturday afternoon on Seymour Drive.
Burns's sister, Regina Wooten, said she and Burns had been at Maddox's house the night before playing cards and drinking. Wooten left, and Burns came home a few hours later.
Wooten said Saturday morning, Maddox came to their house asking for Burns and accusing her of stealing money. The encounter took Wooten by surprise.
Mr. Joe seemed like a nice man --I had no indication he wasn't, she said. I didn't know he was crazy.
After Maddox left, Wooten said he went back to his house and shot off his gun.
He put the gun in the air and shot five times, she said, describing the sound.
An hour later, Wooten heard more gunfire. When she went outside, a neighbor screamed to her that Burns was dead. She had been shot in the street after a shouting match with Maddox.
Maddox's neighbor Ronnie Greene was in Maddox's house when it happened.
He hit her, said Greene. She started running and she went down, and he told me to go out and look for her -- is she hit?
Greene said yes, and kept going. The shooting didn't shock him, because he said Maddox didn't like being crossed.
Not surprising, he said. If he says he's going to get you, he's going to get you.
After the shooting, Wooten and her fiance Kenneth Wilkes ran to Burns's side and tried to help, while Maddox retreated into his house.
Police surrounded the house and called SWAT officers, who engaged in a standoff with Maddox until he surrendered peacefully an hour later.
Maddox is charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He had been convicted of second-degree murder in 1985 and spent five years in prison, according to the Department of Corrections.
Wilkes and Wooten don't believe Burns stole anything from Maddox to begin with.
She would do anything she can for anyone, said Wilkes. She had a heart of gold.
Now, they want justice for Burns, who, until a few months ago, was homeless.
I loved my sister, said Wooten. Lord knows we have had our share of moments, but I love my sister.