According to prosecutors, Matthew Sullivan stabbed his wife, Elizabeth, in October 2014 while their children were in the next room. Despite the defense team’s attempt to paint Elizabeth as a drug-abusing, irresponsible parent, it wasn’t enough to sway the jury.
When Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III handed down Sullivan’s sentence, he didn’t mince words. “The jury verdict and the evidence at trial made it clear that Matthew Sullivan brutally murdered his wife, methodically cleaned up the messy murder site, and then hid the body for years,” said Harutunian III. “He almost got away with it, but his final attempt to hide the body at the bottom of the bay failed.”
After receiving his sentence, Sullivan addressed the court and said he believed the unavailability of certain witnesses ultimately doomed his case. But Sullivan’s continued insistence about his innocence was interpreted by prosecutors as a lack of remorse. “There is clearly no remorse on the defendant’s part,” said San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Jill Lindberg. “He thinks he could have gotten a different verdict.”