FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — A man was found guilty on all counts Tuesday in his retrial for the shotgun slayings of his mother, stepfather and stepbrother in their rural upstate home in 2011.
A Washington County court jury returned guilty verdicts on murder and arson charges against 29-year-old Matthew Slocum, whose earlier conviction on the same charges was tossed out on appeal in 2015.
The nine-day retrial ended with Slocum convicted of killing 44-year-old Lisa Coon Harrington, her husband, 41-year-old Dan Harrington, and his 24-year-old son, Joshua O'Brien.
Prosecutors said Slocum used a shotgun to kill all three in July 2011 as they slept in their home in White Creek, a small farming town on the Vermont border. He then set the house on fire to destroy evidence, prosecutors said.
Afterward, Slocum fled to New England with his girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove, who testified against him, and their infant son. Slocum was eventually captured in New Hampshire.
After the verdicts were read, the victims' families applauded and cried out, "Thank God!" according to the Times Union of Albany.
Slocum's attorney said Colegrove was the one who carried out the slayings because she was angry that the Harringtons — prompted by her drug problems — were trying to seek custody of the child she shared with Slocum. But the jury believed the prosecution's argument that Slocum shot all three as Colegrove looked on.
"It's been 2,192 days waiting for this. Dan, Lisa, Josh, we got you justice," said Diana Harrington, Dan Harrington's mother, according to the Albany newspaper.
Slocum was convicted of murder and arson following a trial in 2012, but those convictions were overturned when a New York appeals court ruled he was denied his right to a lawyer while being questioned by investigators.
Slocum will be sentenced July 14. He had previously been sentenced to 88 years to life.
This story has been corrected to show that Slocum was charged in the death of his stepbrother, not his father, and that his stepbrother was 24, not 44.