Friday, 4 November 2011

Teen Faces Double Murder Charges As Adult


CHARLOTTE, NC - A 15-year-old accused of killing his father and stepmother, now faces those charges as an adult.  Friends and family of the victims heard evidence that led a judge to shift this case from juvenile to superior court. One of the hardest things for everyone to hear - a scared teen admitting to the murders.
"I just wanted to let Matthew know that I love him, and I always have," said Shelby Hodges, who spent the day inside a juvenile courtroom. Prosecutors played a taped confession from her son Matthew Liewald. The teen admitted to police that he shot and killed his father Christian Liewald and stepmother Cassie.
The murders took place in the early morning hours on September 26 at a South Mecklenburg County home. During an interview recorded right after police arrested Matthew, investigators were told he feared his father for "as long as I can remember." According to the replayed admission, he also told police, "it was me that pulled the trigger."
"If he would go this far, with the gun, shooting them like he did, I can't imagine what his state of mind was," said close friend and neighbor Jay. He did not want to appear on camera, but Jay and his wife did attend Matthew's probable cause hearing. He says the boy's father was abusive and controlling.
"When a kid's backed up against the wall, and he's coming out, that gun is going to go off as many times as he has bullets," said Jay.
Evidence presented in court indicates that Christian and Cassie walked up the mobile home driveway. As soon as they opened the side door, Matthew started shooting at his dad, but he told police he did not know that Cassie was there as well.
Jay says Matthew started crying when police described the murder scene and how the victims were killed. Christian was shot 4 times, while Cassie was shot 8 times.
"I truly believe knowing Cassie, and knowing how she felt about Christian, she was probably in front or stepped in front of him," said Jay.
A preliminary autopsy report showed the Liewalds were shot in the head and face. Prosecutors also presented evidence that Matthew had been grounded for staying out late at Carowinds. He wanted to run away to Mexico, but not before killing his father.
If Matthew's murder case had stayed in juvenile court and later convicted, he could have faced jail time until his 21st birthday. As an adult, a double homicide conviction could mean life in prison

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