March 31, 2023
Annapolis, US 41 F

Shady Side man sentenced to 80 years for double murder

Kirk Byron Matthews (56)
Kirk Byron Matthews (58)

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Kirk Matthews, 58, of Shady Side, was sentenced by Judge Ripken to 80 years in prison for the second degree murders of Linda McKenzie and Leslie Smith.

“Mr. Matthews executed these victims in an exceedingly horrific manner,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “The prosecutors did great work bringing justice to the families of the victims. I hope they and the community of Shady Side will find solace in the knowledge that Mr. Matthews will likely spend the remainder of his life in prison.”

On June 1, 2017, at approximately 12:36 AM, Anne Arundel County Police responded to the intersection of Scott Town Road and Nick Road in Shady Side for a report of an armed suspect walking with what appeared to be a shotgun.

Upon arrival, police located the bodies of Linda McKenzie and Leslie Smith on the side of Scott Town Road. Both victims had suffered apparent gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police learned that prior to the murder, the victims were driving on Scott Town Road when they drove their vehicle into a ditch and began arguing loudly. Matthews confronted the victims and threatened them before demanding they leave the area. Witnesses saw Matthews walking towards the victims while carrying a shotgun.

Police obtained surveillance video footage of Scott Town Road approximately one tenth of a mile from where the victims’ bodies were located. The video, which was recorded moments after gunshots were heard by the 911 caller, shows the suspect walking away from the crime scene while carrying what appears to be a shotgun. Multiple witnesses reviewed the video and identified the suspect as Matthews.

On October 26, 2018, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury found Matthews guilty of two counts of second degree murder, two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence, possession of a shotgun after a disqualifying conviction, and illegal possession of ammunition.

Matthews was sentenced to 110 years in prison suspend all but 80 years of active incarceration, and five years of supervised probation upon release. The first 10 years of his sentence are to be served without the possibility of parole.

Judge Laura S. Ripken presided over the case. Assistant State’s Attorneys Kelly Poma and April Skrenczuk prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.

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