Lancaster teen gets up to 109 years for killing teacher during burglary

Marcus Rutter
Marcus Rutter

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A city teenager will spend at least 54 years in prison for robbing and killing a Brownstown Elementary School teacher after breaking into her home.

Nicole Mathewson
Nicole Mathewson

Marcus Rutter, 17, was ordered to serve 54 to 109 years in state prison at his sentencing Friday in Lancaster County Court. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder for the December 2014 killing of Nicole Mathewson.

Juveniles convicted of first-degree murder no longer face mandatory life sentences because of a U.S Supreme Court ruling that found such sentences unconstitutional.

District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office said Rutter is the first juvenile sentenced in the county since that ruling.

Judge David Ashworth, in ordering the sentence, noted that Rutter never apologized to the Mathewson family. Ashworth called Rutter “irretrievably depraved” and said it is “improbable” he would change.

First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen told the court that Rutter’s behavior after the killing showed he had no remorse. He said Rutter stole a container of Christmas cookies that Mathewson baked and he ate them after killing her, used her phone to access Facebook while she was bound and gagged, and later on Facebook “liked” a news story about the murder.

Rutter additionally pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property, and access device fraud.

Thomas G. Moore
Thomas G. Moore

A co-defendant, Thomas Moore, pleaded guilty in February. He is serving a sentence of life in prison plus 20 years.

Authorities said Rutter and Moore were planning a burglary when they went to Mathewson’s home in the 700 block of North Franklin Street in the middle of the night.

They said Mathewson was beaten to death before Rutter and Moore stole her debit card, her vehicle, and other property.

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