The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office recently filed a notice to seek a third-strike sentence against a Columbia man convicted of the rape and beating of a woman in 2015.
Thomas M. Matthews will be sentenced on May 31 regarding the January trial conviction on 11 counts, including rape and aggravated assault.
Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield filed a motion with sentencing judge David Ashworth of her intent to seek a mandatory sentence of at least 25 years because Matthews has at least two prior convictions for violent crimes.
Matthews, 37, potentially faces a life sentence, according to the motion to seek mandatory sentence.
He was convicted in 2004 of aggravated robbery and in 2010 of kidnapping and aggravated assault – all in Arizona.
Also, Matthews is facing a new set of charges for seriously beating another inmate while incarcerated last month at Lancaster County Prison.
On April 3, Matthews kicked and punched the male inmate until the inmate was unconscious. The inmate was returning to his cell when Matthews followed, closed the cell door, and beat him.
Matthews punched the victim’s cellmate to silence his calls for help.
The man who was seriously beaten sustained brain bleeds, along with facial and skull fractures.
Matthews was arraigned Wednesday on counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, and two counts of unlawful restraint.
Lancaster city police Detective Stanley Roache filed charges.
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