Criminal Justice

Courthouse shooter's relatives convicted of cyberstalking, face possible life prison terms

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A federal jury in Wilmington, Delaware, has convicted three family members of a courthouse shooter of cyberstalking causing death.

Lenore Matusiewicz and her children, David Matusiewicz and Amy Gonzalez, now face possible life prison terms when they are sentenced in October in the landmark case. Prosecutors say this is the first time anyone in the U.S. has been convicted of the crime, according to the Associated Press and the News Journal.

“It is an unprecedented verdict. It is the first of its kind in the country. We certainly believe it was appropriate charges,” said Charles Oberly III, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware. “I just hope there is some sense of justice for the family.”

Defense lawyers argued that Thomas Matusiewicz, who shot Christine Belford and Laura “Beth” Mulford to death on Feb. 11, 2013 at the New Castle County courthouse, was solely responsible for the crime. Belford was the ex-wife of his son, David Matusiewicz, and was in the courthouse for a hearing in a hard-fought child-support case, along with her friend, Mulford.

However, the feds said earlier harassment of Belford by the shooter’s wife and children, both online and by other means, had resulted in her death.

The articles about the jury conviction don’t include any comments from defense counsel.

Related coverage: “Were relatives culpable in shooter’s deadly courthouse attack? Jury to decide in cyberstalking trial”

Updated at 12:31 p.m. to add comments from defense counsel.

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