WOODVILLE, TX (KTRE) - A Tyler County Judge agreed to continue Child Protective Services' temporary managing conservatorship for the five-year-old daughter of a Zavalla man who was killed in a double-homicide in January.
Nathan Maddox and his wife, Krystal, were shot dead while leaving a visitation session with Nathan's five-year-old daughter. In March, the Tyler County Sheriff's Office arrested the girl's mother, Kristen Westfall, her brother, Cameron Westfall, her mother, Letha Westfall and her father, Paul Westfall, in connection to the deaths. They are charged with first-degree engaging in organized criminal activity.
Since the deaths, Jim Maddox, the paternal grandfather, has been in a custody battle against the Westfalls for the child.
A CPS spokesperson said that no matter what happens with the Westfalls case in the future CPS will never recommend that the child ever be placed with them.
CPS has completed a home study with the Maddox family and are just waiting to see if it is favorable, which they believe it will be, before they begin supervised visitations between Maddox and his granddaughter.
"They need all the details to come back in and so certainly we want every precaution taken that needs to be taken," said Jim Maddox. "They look into essentially who we are and just dig through our lives for lack of better terms but again we're okay with that. We don't have any skeletons in the closet."
Maddox says he is looking forward to getting to know his granddaughter. He said he recognizes that she has been through a lot lately and will need time to adjust.
"She's happy where she's at in her foster home," said Maddox. "She's got her own room and there's some other kids so she's kind of a big sister in there from what they're telling us and so to be pulled out of another home and placed in another it's unsettling for her we understand that but certainly her situation right now is a temporary one."
She will have her own room at the Maddox house. It's already all fixed up for her.
"That's the main thing," said Maddox. "Make her feel comfortable. Let her feel at home and let her know that - that's her home also."
CPS says the five-year-old is seeing a therapist.
A CPS spokesperson says when the supervised visits begin a therapist will also be in attendance. The visits are expected to go on for some time.
A status hearing is scheduled for May 21, 2014 at 10:30 am where CPS will present all the information from the home study to the judge. They will discuss how the visitations have been going and then a judge will decide if CPS should continue to maintain the temporary managing conservatorship of the girl or if it should be transferred to Jim Maddox.
Maddox said it will bring much happiness to him and his family to have their granddaughter with them but it doesn't fix the other situation with the murder of his son and daughter-in-law.
"It's still a gaping wound," said Maddox. "Very painful but at the same time we're doing the right thing. The right thing always helps and this is the right thing. We want them to pay for what they did but the bottom line is the final judge sets over us all and there's a judge that's bigger than our court system and that's what we look for. There is an eternal judge."