Matthew Riley was convicted in October 2013 of the December 9, 2008 murder of his parents, Linda and Steven Riley in Sacramento, California, and was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.
The murder occurred early in the morning, in the afternoon Matthew discovered the bodies and called 911. From that moment he was the only target of the investigation, despite the fact that his family tried to get the police to consider other suspects.
Matthew had no reason to murder his own parents.
Unidentified DNA extracted from blood was found at the scene, and also unidentified finger-prints.
There was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime, however his wife Jannilin Overton testified that he left home that night. Overton, a meth addict, was not a credible witness, and her story changed several times. Overton testified that Matthew left their apartment around 3am. Matthew’s parents home, where they were murdered, was 40 miles from Matthew’s apartment. If he went out in the middle of the night at 3am intent on murdering his parents, he would have been at the scene around 4am.
The prosecution’s time of death seems incompatible with evidence found at the scene which suggests Matthew’s parents were attacked after Steven had made coffee. The morning routine was that Steven got up first and drank coffee while reading the paper. Then he brought Linda breakfast upstairs on a tray. When they were killed, the coffee pot was half-full and the breakfast tray was still downstairs. Security cameras showed a newspaper delivery car at 6:30am. This suggests the attack happened after 6:30am. Around 7:00 a.m., Matt made a purchase in a doughnut shop near his home, which was verified by a time-stamped receipt. If he murdered his parents, he would have been covered in blood, no trace was found in his car, there is no place or time for him to have cleaned up, driven back before buying the doughnut.
At the sentencing hearing, the judge said Matthew staged a fake ransacking of the residence but made the mistake of leaving valuables normally taken by a thief. The judge said “They were horrific assaults and during many trials over 22 years as a judge, the savage nature of the attacks showed that it would have to be a crazy person, serial killer or some connection – it would have to be someone close to them”.
The judge added that Riley’s guilty demeanor after his parent’s death was an important factor in the case, “He was dispassionate – almost matter of fact”.
Family members, including Matthew’s Aunt, and the brother of victim Linda Riley, believe that Matthew was wrongly convicted.
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Wife Of Convicted Murderer Explains Why She Lied On The Stand (VIDEO) Huffington post, April 16, 2015
A possible alternate suspect would be Edward Wayne Edwards.