First Life Sentence for Cyberstalking Leading to Murder

February 29, 2016 · by rosenblumlawfirm · in

Posting BailEarlier this month, 70-year-old Lenore Matusiewicz was sentenced to life in prison. She is reportedly the first person in the United States to be convicted in a case of cyberstalking that led to the death of the victim. In NJ, this offense would full under NJSA 2C:33-4.1.

Lenore, her husband Thomas (an ex-cop from South Jersey), son David, and daughter Amy harassed David’s ex-wife, Christine Belford, for three years. The family’s goal was to gain custody of David and Christine’s children, who they claim were being endangered and abused. Things escalated on February 11, 2013, when Thomas Matusiewicz shot his daughter-in-law and her friend before exchanging fire with the police and then turning the gun on himself.

The Matusiewiczes were convicted of multiple charges including conspiracy, cyberstalking, and interstate stalking. Sentencing was initially scheduled for Thursday, February 18, in Wilmington, DE, but had to be moved up to February 12 due to Lenore’s rapidly declining health. Because she was too sick to be taken to a courthouse, the sentencing was held in her hospital room at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson Hospital.

U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Austin McHugh sentenced Lenore to life in prison. He stated, “Even the lightest sentence I could impose on Mrs. Matusiewicz, due to her age and current medical condition, would for all practical purposes amount to a life sentence.”

Stalking and cyberstalking charges can have serious consequences. If you or a loved one were arrested for such crimes, contact the Rosenblum Law Firm. We will defend your rights and do everything possible to keep you out of jail. E-mail us or call today at 888-815-3649 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.