HJ-ED-DHJ

Aug. 21, 2006

Litchfield woman pleads guilty to murder

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Tina Marie Mathews of Litchfield pleaded guilty Tuesday in Meeker County court to second degree felony murder for the death of Randy Silbaugh April 23.

Mathew’s next court hearing is set for sentencing on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Prosecutors for this homicide are Matt Frank, assistant attorney general, and Meeker County Attorney Stephanie L. Beckman.

Silbaugh, 46, of Coon Rapids was found dead after being allegedly stabbed by his girlfriend, Mathews, 39, of Litchfield, according to the Meeker County attorney’s office.

Mathews and Silbaugh had a history of domestic violence, according to a report from Meeker County Sheriff Mike Hirman.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s office had received a 911 call from a person reporting a medical emergency at a neighbor’s residence. The caller reported that someone had been cut, according to the sheriff’s report.

Deputies, along with Litchfield Rescue and Gold Cross Ambulance, arrived at the location, 21860 575th Ave., Litchfield, which is six miles southwest of Litchfield in Greenleaf Township.

Silbaugh was dead at the scene. Three adults and one juvenile were taken to the sheriff’s office for questioning. Two of the adults and the juvenile were later released. It appears the victim was allegedly stabbed with a kitchen knife in the chest during an argument with Mathews, according to the sheriff’s report.

The knife blade broke off by the handle during the stabbing. After the stabbing, Mathews told one of the witnesses to get rid of the pieces of knife.

The Meeker County coroner’s office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted in the investigation. The Litchfield Police Department also assisted at the scene.

Mathews acknowledged to investigators that she was Silbaugh’s girlfriend for the past three years. She has another case pending from an incident Nov. 9, 2005. Mathews is being prosecuted for third degree assault and two counts of domestic assault. The victim in the Nov. 9 incident also was Silbaugh.

The court ordered unconditional bail of $2 million for the two murder charges and set conditional bail at $1 million.

Mathews could be imprisoned up to 40 years. For the Nov. 9 assault complaint she has been charged with felony assault with substantial bodily harm or misdemeanor domestic assault committed to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death, or intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm on another.


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