Death penalty denied after Richard Matthews declared 'intellectually disabled'

Death penalty denied after Richard Matthews declared 'intellectually disabled'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A July court date has been set for the man accused of killing two women in 2009. The state, however, will no longer be allowed to seek the death penalty.

Judge Anthony Marabella ruled Friday that Richard Matthews is 'intellectually disabled' according to the results of three independent psychological examinations.

"Based on a United States Supreme Court decision, that means that once that court makes that finding, the death penalty has to be taken off the table," said Hillar Moore, District Attorney. "He can never be subject to the death penalty."

Matthews has repeatedly confessed to the shooting, which happened at Grady Crawford Construction Company. He stated he went intended on killing his former boss, but shot and killed Dianna Tullier, 44, and Cheryl D. Boykin, 55. A third woman was also shot, but survived.

"He confessed again today," Moore said. "He said, 'You know I did it. Everyone knows I did it. But this gentleman is still presumed innocent, despite all he's said himself."

With this latest ruling, Moore is confident the July trial date will occur, bringing this case to an end.

"It's hard for the family to take, but these families have been very resilient," he said. "They've been to every one of our court appearances.

"We're looking forward now to doing our job going forward, prosecuting this case, and hopefully getting some closure to these families and those who also survived this incident," he added. "It's affected a lot of people."

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