JBLM soldier arrested for killing 8-month pregnant wife and another soldier after high-speed chase

A soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is charged with allegedly killing his eight-month pregnant wife and another soldier.

Army officials told Task & Purpose that Spc. John Maupin, a scout with the 7th Infantry Division, was in custody after two soldiers assigned to JBLM, Washington and a family member “were involved in a fatal domestic violence incident” June 21 in Lacey, Washington. Maupin was arrested Friday after leading police on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of 110 mph. He faces charges of first degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon, second-degree murder and attempting to elude police.

John Maupin is accused of killing his wife, Julia Maupin, and Sgt. Brandon Rudlaff. In a 911 call, Julia’s mother, Colleen O’Toole — who lives in the same house — described Rudlaff as Julia’s “best friend/boyfriend” who shared a room with her daughter. John had been staying in a third bedroom alone, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Rudlaff was a team chief for the 7th Infantry Division. His awards included the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Julia Maupin was eight months pregnant, police said.

Julia Maupin and Sgt. Brandon Rudlaff were found dead in a house that authorities say they shared with John Maupin. Photos from Facebook.

Domestic abuse involving pregnant women is far from uncommon. Nearly 324,000 pregnant people in the U.S. are battered by their intimate partners every year. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, many women report that domestic abuse started or intensified when they became pregnant.

As for domestic abuse that turns fatal, homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the U.S., according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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JBLM officials said O’Toole called 911 Thursday evening to report that her daughter and Rudlaff had been shot by Maupin. 

O’Toole told officials that Julia and John Maupin fought often and that John had previously threatened suicide multiple times. O’Toole said that she had heard Julia Maupin and John Maupin arguing earlier in the day, during which Julia told John that he did not have permission to go into her room or take her phone. Later that night, O’Toole heard at least five gunshots ring out and found her daughter and Rudlaff’s bodies without a pulse.

“Colleen said she didn’t actually see John but saw his black shirt that he had on earlier in the day,” according to the affidavit. Michael Delgado, O’Toole’s partner who also lives in the house, told officials he watched John Maupin come down the stairs with a gun and flee in his car.When John Maupin was interviewed by local police, “John stated that he has an alter ego named ‘New John’ who took over and he couldn’t remember anything,” according to the affidavit. He also told police he had a gun in his glove box, “but that he didn’t own a gun.” 

John Maupin  has a firearm review hearing on Thursday and his arraignment is scheduled for July 2, according to the Thurston County prosecutor’s office.

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Patty Nieberg

Sr. Staff Writer

Patty is a senior staff writer for Task & Purpose. She has covered the military and national defense for five years, including embedding with the National Guard during Hurricane Florence and covering legal proceedings for a former al Qaeda commander at Guantanamo Bay. Her previous bylines can be found at the Associated Press, Bloomberg Government, Washington Post, The New York Times, and ABC.