A 34-year-old man who killed his father and then dismembered his corpse this past February was sentenced to life in prison on Monday by a Florida judge who made a powerful statement in putting him away for good.
Matthew Marshall of Cape Coral, Florida, will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was convicted of killing his father, James Marshall, and then dumping dismembered body parts in a canal, according to the Miami Herald.
Matthew Marshall is a former college football player who apparently had a history of mental illness that his family says contributed to his violent outbursts.
Matthew Marshall (left), 34, will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was sentenced Monday by Lee County Circuit Court Judge J. Frank Porter
Video courtesy of WINK News:
He was found to have killed his 58-year-old father, dismembered the body, wrapped the tors in a sheet, stuffed the left arm, thighs, and lower legs into a suitcase, and dropped it into a canal not far from the condo in which they both lived.
James Marshall’s head was never found.
The killing was ‘without any doubt the most gruesome and brutal murder of my career,’ said Lee County Circuit Court Judge J. Frank Porter upon sentencing.
‘It is my intent that you never see the sun rise, the sun set or take a breath outside the walls of the Department of Corrections the rest of your natural life,’ the judge said.
James Marshall’s death was preceded by a number of violent run-ins with his son, who had threatened to slit his throat, according to The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida.
Marshall killed and dismembered the body of his father, James Marshall (above), then dumped various body parts in a canal near the home in which they both lived
In one instance, Matthew Marshall, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds, put his father in a chokehold and threatened to kill him if he didn’t drive him to Washington, D.C., so that he could assassinate ‘George Bush and his family.’
James Marshall was so terrified of his son that at one point he began to sleep with a chair wedged against his bedroom door.
He had even set up a code word with a nearby friend in the eventuality he needed to alert police.
While James Marshall was scared of what his son might do to him, he did not have the heart to kick him out of his home, seeing as how he did not want to leave his son homeless, The News-Press reported.
It took two months for police to link Matthew Marshall to James Marshall’s disappearance.
On the same day that James Marshall’s body parts were found in the canal, Matthew Marshall was arrested on an unrelated charge of failing to pay a bar tab.
At his trial, Marshall defended himself without the services of a lawyer. At times, he rambled incoherently while claiming that he was entitled to protection under the Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendments.
At one point, he asked the judge to hand down ’10 leprechaun life sentences.’
Marshall was considered such a threat to public safety that throughout his trial he was handcuffed and placed in a restrictive cloak.
During sentencing, his mother pleaded with the court, telling it that her son was ‘not a monster’ but a ‘high-functioning mentally ill.’
‘We failed,’ Mary Raveling told the court. ‘I failed as a parent to get him the help he needed.’