A Pennsylvania appeals court has ordered a re-sentencing of an inmate who robbed and killed a Lancaster County school teacher during a 2014 break-in.
Marcus Rutter, 16 when he killed Nicole Mathewson, was prosecuted as an adult due to the nature of the crimes. He claimed in a request for relief that a Lancaster County Judge’s sentence was too harsh.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a Monday ruling, ordered that Rutter be re-sentenced, but not for reasons Rutter set forth in his filing. The high court found that a 35-to-70-year sentence Rutter is serving on the first-degree murder charge should have included a maximum term of life in prison.
Rutter, now 19, is serving 54 to 109 years in prison for first-degree murder and other charges regarding the killing of the 32-year-old Mathewson.
Rutter and Thomas Moore each pleaded guilty to the crimes. Moore, 25 at the time, is serving a life sentence, plus 20 years.
In addition to the first-degree murder sentence, Rutter was sentenced to consecutive terms on other charges, which brought the total to 54 to 109 years.
The Superior Court denied all of Rutter’s other claims regarding legality of his sentence.
Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth, who ordered the original sentence, will preside over the upcoming hearing.
Mathewson, a teacher at Brownstown Elementary School, was slain in the middle of the night inside 701 North Franklin St, Lancaster city.
Mathewson was beaten to death inside the house. Her debit card, vehicle and other items were stolen.
In all, Rutter pleaded guilty last summer to: first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree murder, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property, access device fraud.
First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen, who prosecuted Rutter and Moore, said in court last year that Rutter took Mathewson’s cellphone and used it to access Facebook – while she was bound and gagged in her home.
Lancaster city police Detective Jimmy Mummau filed charges.
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