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Man sentenced to death for murdering sibling teens in front of their mother in Garfield Heights

Posted at 3:28 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 15:32:05-05

CLEVELAND — A former federal building security officer found guilty of murdering two sibling teens in front of their mother in 2018 has been formally sentenced to death.

Matthew Nicholson, 30, was previously found guilty of two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of felonious assault, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

Following the verdict, a jury recommended Nicholson receive the death penalty.

On Nov. 13, Nicholson was sentenced to death for the murders of 17-year-old Manuel Lopez and 19-year-old Giselle Lopez, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Micheal C. O'Malley.

“There can be no greater form of abuse than killing someone’s children in front of them,” said O’Malley. “Matthew Nicholson is a monster for his barbaric actions and received the sentence he rightly deserved. He was unremorseful to the very end.”

The murders happened on Sept. 5, 2018, after Nicholson got off work and drove to his girlfriend's house. At the time, Nicholson was working as a private security officer at the AJC Federal Building in Cleveland.

When Nicholson arrived, authorities said that the he and the woman got into an argument over her texting an ex-boyfriend. The argument escalated and Nicholson attacked the woman, but her 17-year-old son intervened.

Nicholson then left and went to get a gun. In the meantime, the woman's 19-year-old daughter arrived home from work.

Nicholson returned and confronted the family. Authorities said he fired 13 shots, striking both teens multiple times in the back.

The woman's 17-year-old son was pronounced dead at the scene. The 19-year-old girl was transported to a nearby hospital and later died.

Police tracked down Nicholson and he was arrested following a 4-hour standoff.


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