On Tuesday, the judge in the Adam Matos case followed the jury’s recommendation, and handed down a verdict of life in prison without parole, but that didn’t mean she necessarily thought the killer deserved mercy.
“If there was ever a case that I’ve ever heard, that people would decided that death would be appropriate, this is probably it,” said Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Mary Handsel.
Jurors convicted Matos last week for killing Megan Brown (the mother of their son Tristen), Brown’s parents Margaret and Greg Brown, and Megan’s new boyfriend Nicholas Leonard. Matos had testified on his own behalf, claiming self-defense. Handsel. Did. Not. Buy. This.
“This was the most selfish, self-centered, evil thing that I’ve ever heard,” said Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Mary Handsel. “That you took the stand and you said that you did all this for your son is ridiculous. Your son was in the house when you did this.” She later added, “I don’t believe Tristen was your whole world.” She argued that Matos killed the victims because he is “selfish.”
Handsel said that one juror declined to recommend death, so the de facto sentence was life.
Amber Pyle, related to three of Adam Matos’ victims, made clear in her own impact statement what she thought about the killer. She didn’t elaborate, but then, she didn’t really have to. She was Megan’s cousin, and Margaret and Greg’s niece. And now Tristen’s adopted sister.
“I did not write an impact statement for myself, nor will I,” she said, addressing Matos in court. “I cannot bring myself to spew my emotions out to you. You know what I feel about you because you know what you’ve done. I am writing solely the impact that you’ve done to your son Tristan.”
Matos gave his own short statement before Handsel gave her verdict. He pleaded with family members not to hold hate in their hearts because a heart filled with hate “is not free.” He said he was sorry.
“Shut the fuck up,” said a male family member. The judge chastised this man for the outburst.
[Screengrab via Law & Crime Network]