A man charged with first-degree murder in the April death of his fiancée near Middle Grove has been ordered to face a jury trial in Cole County.

Judge Jon E. Beetem set a six-day jury begging Oct. 18, 2019, for James Addie, 52, who was charged by Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick on the April 28 death of Molly Watson, 35, of Huntsville. Addie was employed as a corrections officer III at the time of his arrest, according to Missouri payroll records.

Addie was granted a change of venue July 30 for his case Monroe County to Cole County.

Internet postings show that Addie and Watson planned an April 29 wedding at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Columbia. However, law enforcement officials said Addie was still married to his wife of 22 years. Police reported that Addie said he dated Watson for seven years but that his wife had no idea the two were involved.

“I got myself involved in something I shouldn’t have,” Addie is alleged to have said to police when was questioned.

Police officials said that Watson’s body was discovered near a creek bed about four miles east of Middle Grove. Watson’s cause of death was not immediately revealed, though police said evidence suggests Watson suffered wounds consistent with blunt force trauma.

Police said Watson’s body was discovered by “a reporting party” who encountered a man and vehicle near the creek. The reporting party allegedly had a conversation with a male near the creek bed. The reporting party was heading home but did not cross the creek. Instead, he approached the creek from a different direction after having an “unusual conversation” with the man when he discovered Watson’s body.

The reporting party called emergency services and reported the body and the vehicle he had previously encountered. Police said Watson’s body was located on the ground in front of her vehicle. While investigating, police said they found tire tracks near Watson’s body.

Missouri Highway Patrol investigators interviewed Addie 2:45 a.m. April 28 in the dining room of his home in Santa Fe, in southern Monroe County near the Audrain County line. Investigators said he admitted to a relationship with Watson and told them his wife was not aware of the relationship.

Investigators said that Addie granted them permission to search his garage and found the tires on his 2000 Mercury Sable matched tracks at the crime scene.

Addie was arrested at 4:11 a.m. that morning. He remains in the Monroe County bail on lieu of a $500,000 cash bond.