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Local jury finds suspected serial killer guilty on five counts

May 8, 2008

Matthew Macon, 28-year-old Lansing resident and suspected serial killer, was found guilty on five counts, including two counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder, this afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Courthouse, 313 W. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing.

Macon, who was arrested in August, has been through a series of trials that began earlier this week after being postponed in February. After fewer than two hours of deliberation, the jury announced that they found Macon guilty on all five counts. Macon also was proven guilty of one count of torture and one count of home invasion.

He was convicted of the murder of Sandra Eichorn, 64, and Karen Delgado-Yates, 41, and the assault of Linda Chapel Jackson, 56.

When Macon’s trial continued today, Macon’s attorney Mike O’Briant did not call on the two men he had earlier proposed were guilty of Macon’s alleged crimes to testify. O’Briant and Macon both agreed that Macon also would not speak during any of the trials.

Assistant Prosecutor Catherine Emerson showed the jury hour-by-hour time frames leading up to Macon’s arrest: August 29, the day Delgado-Yates died, August 28, the day Macon was arrested and Linda Chapel Jackson was beaten, and August 27, the day Sandra Eichorn was murdered.

Emerson showed the jury exhibit No. 79 of evidence: Macon’s cell phone, which showed when he was in the area of the murders. The phone, a Motorola, was given to the Michigan State Crime Lab as evidence.

Other pieces of evidence used prior to today’s trial were clothing found at the scene of the crime with Macon’s DNA and a videotape taken from Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital on August 28 that showed Macon wearing the same clothing that Jackson described her attacker as wearing: red pants and a white T-shirt.

O’Briant requested that the court dismiss the DNA evidence that had been found on Macon’s clothes, which were left at two of the crime scenes, because there were no fingerprints, but he was overruled.

In the closing arguments, Emerson stressed the idea that Macon enjoyed killing. In the case of Eichorn, Macon was accused of using a knife to stab her 36 times.

“This can only mean an overkill,” Emerson said during the trial. “He bent the knife.”

Emerson said that evidence such as bringing work gloves to the murder, leaving his business card and taking the victim’s shoes were all trademarks that pointed to premeditated murder.

Delgado-Yates was killed in a vacant house, giving him “hours to employ his hobby of murder,” Emerson said during the trial.

Earlier in the week, a former Ingham County Jail inmate acquainted with Macon, Aundrey Hubbard, testified against him, saying he spoke about beating Jackson and said he should have killed her.

In a lineup Jackson pointed out Macon right away, Emerson said.

During his closing arguments, O’Briant said police had the wrong person and rushed into judgment. He said there is still reasonable doubt that Macon is innocent, and pointed out that Dorothy Moore, Macon’s girlfriend, stated earlier that Macon and his brother Melvin Hobbs often share clothes and resemble each other.

O’Briant also said it was unfair that the other DNA was not tested on the clothes, and that it was a rare chance that the DNA was Macon’s. He said the business card could have been a setup.

Emerson’s objection was that O’Briant was using “smoke to obscure the view,” she said.

“This was joyful, planned, passionate,” Emerson said.

Clifton Jackson, a cousin of Macon who spoke on behalf of the family, said he still does not believe that Macon is a murderer.

“I know a Matthew that wasn’t portrayed in the courtroom,” Jackson said.

The next step for both families, Jackson said, is healing.

“It wasn’t the verdict we wanted, but we serve God who is merciful, and that’s what gets us through the day,” he said.

The sentencing will take place at 1:15 p.m. on June 18 at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Mason.

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