Man Arrested for Strangling His Mother Says He Had Good Reason

A man got away with killing his mother. Until he got drunk and confessed it all as he planned her funeral. Richard Guyton Mathews, of Palm Coast, Florida, allegedly strangled and then fed his mother an overdose of sleeping pills, killing her. No one suspected this was murder, and Mathews was free to begin planning his mom's funeral. But apparently his guilty conscience couldn't take what he had done, and after getting drunk, he reportedly confessed his crime to the mortician. However, there is one major twist.

After the grieving son showed up at the funeral home "highly intoxicated," he reportedly confessed that his 88-year-old mother hadn't died of natural causes after all, but that he had killed her. Horribly, he said he had tried to strangle her but thought it didn't work, so he gave her sleeping pills.

The alarmed funeral undertaker called police, who then ordered an autopsy. The woman was found to have died in exactly this way -- sleeping pills and strangulation.

The man had gotten away with murder -- but couldn't handle it. Why? Could it be because ... he didn't really want her dead?

Although Mathews confessed to killing his mom, he said he was doing it to be a good son -- because she requested it. Apparently she had asked him to do it a few days before he did -- because she was "going downhill and tired."

Neighbors said the son lived with his mother, who was in poor health and on an oxygen tank, and took care of her. Mathews said he did not want to kill his mother but felt he should do what she asked.

Ugh, what a terrible story. Terrible if it's not true, terrible if it is. Assisted suicide is legal in only four states in the U.S. And none of them are Florida. If this woman really did want to die and did ask her son, that was a terrible burden to place on him. I actually did have an elderly relative ask me to help him die, and I told him no. One, I could not do that. Two, I didn't want to go to prison. And that is exactly where Mathews may end up.

On the other hand, we only have Mathews' version of events, so who knows if this really was something his mother requested. If anyone ever asks you to help him or her die, just say no.

Do you believe him? Have you ever had anyone ask this of you?


Image via Palm Coast Police

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Jozemom Jozemom

Well unfortunately for him, the only other person who could attest to the validity of his statement is dead. I do understand someone wanting to just quicken the inevitable, but what a horrible position to put a loved one in. He was stupid for complying, especially without anything in writing to verify that they were in fact her wishes. 

Jorie21 Jorie21

I've been around 2 people who were dying slowly and watched them suffer and pray for death to come quickly. It's not a sight anyone should ever have to encounter but if they're weren't legal repercussion, I'd have helped. If he's being honest (which his remorse and guilt seem to imply imo) I feel bad for him cause it's such a sad thing to witness.

Lisa Miller-Palmeri

Assisted suicide is legal in 5 states (Vermont, Montana, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico). Author should research a little better. 

Rachel Troumbly

Assisted suicide SHOULD be allowed in all states. The alternative method used for persons dying of cancer or in otherwise declining states? Withholding food and water so they can die "naturally". That's the religious ideal of beating around the moral bush. Frankly, I'd rather let someone die in comfort than watch them die in pain. I don't understand how anyone can feel that there's a moral high road in letting someone die a painful death, especially when we're so quick to put an animal out of its misery. And even then, we call it mercy. Why don't humans deserve such mercy?

Cathy... Cathystwins

I live in this town. The man is an alcoholic. No excuses for what he did to this poor woman.

nonmember avatar patty

I feel sorry for a person in this situation. I was taking care if this elderly man and he asked me to help him die. He wanted me to give him his gun so he could put his self out if his misery. Of course I didn't.... But a couple days later he got ahold of it and killed his self. It was terrible. I think assisted suicide should be allowed for the terminally ill. It prevent undue suffering for both the person and their family.

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