Court Security

Courthouse shooter had handwritten death warrant for lawyer who wasn't there, authorities say

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Surveillance footage obtained by the News Journal shows a man who, moments later, shot and killed two women at the county courthouse in Wilmington, Del., walking with his son in a courthouse parking lot on Feb. 11, according to authorities.

An earlier Daily Journal article says the son, David Matusiewicz, walked directly into the courthouse, through the metal detectors, where he had a scheduled child-support hearing with his ex-wife. However, his father, Thomas Matusiewicz, 68, waited in the lobby until about 8:15 a.m., when his former daughter-in-law, Christine Belford, 39, arrived with a friend, Laura Elizabeth “Beth” Mulford, 47.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, relying on information from the Associated Press, says a search warrant for the Matusiewicz family home in Texas states that a video shows the two men hugging in the courthouse lobby. The elder Matusiewicz reportedly waited half an hour in the lobby before Belford and Mulford arrived.

After slaying the two women and shooting two police officers in the chest who survived because they were wearing bulletproof vests, Thomas Matusiewicz then shot and killed himself near the courthouse entrance, after being hit in the chest with a shot fired by Capitol Police officers, authorities said.

In another News Journal article published over the weekend, the newspaper also says it has reviewed documents from Hidalgo County, Texas—where David Matusiewicz had been living with his father and mother—that state David Matusiewicz and his mother, Lenore Matusiewicz, are suspected of playing a role in the courthouse slayings. Authorities in Texas have searched the family’s home and a storage locker there, pursuant to a search warrant.

Found during the searches was a book, Kill All the Lawyers, the News Journal says. The newspaper also reports, along with the Inquirer, that an affidavit filed by Texas authorities in support of the search of the Matusiewicz home there in Edcouch stated that Thomas Matusiewicz, when he arrived on Feb. 11 at the Delaware courthouse, apparently had with him handwritten “death certificates” for Belford and attorney Timothy Hitchings that were found on his body. The lawyer had represented Belford for years, but he had not been planning to attend the child-support hearing because his client decided to represent herself there.

“Leading up to Monday’s hearing date, we exchanged several e-mails, some related to her case, others not. I asked her again if she wanted me there and she declined,” Hitchings wrote in an email, the Inquirer reports. He declined to comment about the claimed threat to his life because of the ongoing investigation.

Additional coverage: “Women gunned down at Delaware courthouse were there for child-support hearing” “Son of accused Delaware courthouse gunman is detained in probation case at judge’s order”

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