I went to court on the 8th to see Matthew. It was harrowing and sad. I wasn't allowed in at first because Id gotten there to early. I had to sit in the restroom and wait for the bailiff's to begin allowing people in.
I sat in the very front row and hoped that when they brought him in he recognized me from the pictures I've sent him. He was very close to the head of the docket and came in quietly.
The judge announced his charges of capital murder. His public defender expressed his desire to post pone the next hearing until he could get his motions in order and said that he would have many, many motions to file.
Matthew was a bigger man than I imagined. Very thick but not fat. Stocky with many tattoos. His army background was apparent in his proud stance, build and tattoos.
He was the recruiter who had a hand in my sons joining the Army and he lived close to me when he murdered his girlfriend. I felt a pull toward this case that I cant explain.
I don't understand how so many people have turned their back on him when he fought for this country. He was unwavering in his support of America and yet the country has turned their back on him. Its devastating.
If only the army would have given him the help he asked for. If only someone would have listened to him when he said he felt wrong inside. Stephanie and her children would be living.
I introduced myself to his family on the way out of the courtroom. They were hesitant and a bit rude but I understand why. I tried to explain that I just don't believe in the death penalty and that Matthew recruited my son. I feel some sort of dedication to him. I feel a need to support him.
I do not believe he will get the death penalty. PTSD should not be a death sentence in itself and the family of the victims does not wish to see it proceed.
I can only hope that the world and the Army will see that this is not your average murder case. Help this man.