The alleged triple murder of a woman, her son, and her mother in Pittsylvania County, Virginia caught attention for a number of reasons. There’s the horrifying nature of the crime, the fact the victims were related to a minor league baseball player, and because of this: footage showing the suspect–identified as the woman’s brother Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18–running around while nude, and even attacking an older man.
The defendant is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and was being treated at a local medical center. It’s unclear if he has an attorney in the matter. Pittsylvania Sheriff Mike Taylor declined to suggest a motive in a press conference Tuesday.
One of the victims were reportedly identified as Emily Bernard Bivens, the wife of minor league pitcher Blake Bivens. Their son Cullen, 1, and Emily Biven’s mother Joan Bernard were also killed.
Just an awful tragedy: The wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, were among three people killed in rural Virginia on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. Police have charged Bivens’ wife’s brother with first-degree homicide.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 28, 2019
The murders caught attention in part because Blake Bivens played for the Montgomery Biscuits, a minor league affiliate with the Tampa Bay Rays.
We’re with you, Blake. pic.twitter.com/gJqdUCIf7p
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 28, 2019
Authorities say that one of the women was found dead in the driveway of a residence. The other victims were discovered inside the home.
The naked man, who has been identified as Bernard, can be seen on video jogging, if not outright running, at what seems to be an armed law enforcement officer, then he begins to charge at a gray-haired man, and apparently begins choking him. The official chases him off before others apprehend him. The elderly man was identified as a church groundskeeper, according to WSET.
[Screengrab via ABC 13]