A local trial team is being honored by the U.S Department of Justice for its work on a landmark case here in Delaware.
The team - led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware - earned the Justice Dept’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team for prosecuting the country’s first cyberstalking resulting in death case.
The case stemmed from a 2013 New Castle County Courthouse shooting where Thomas Matusiewicz killed his former daughter-in-law, Christine Belford, and her friend before taking his own life.
The subsequent investigation uncovered evidence that Matusiewicz and members of his family engaged in a three-year stalking campaign designed to psychologically torture and intimidate Belford.
Following a five-week trial in 2015, the family members involved - Lenore Matusiewicz and her children David Matusiewicz and Amy Gonzalez - were found guilty of cyberstalking resulting in death and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison.
Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss calls it a significant case, “Anytime you experience violence of that nature in a public setting, I think it’s important that people want to be assured that those places, which are critical places for societal functions, are safe places to go.”
Weiss went on to say that his office has a commitment to prosecute theses type of cyber terror cases, “And unfortunately, the internet/social media - there is a lot of good that comes with it, but it also can be used for an instrument of evil as it was in this case. And unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more of this these days.”
The team included five members of Delaware’s U.S. Attorney’s Office along with investigators from the FBI and Delaware State Police. It was one of 10 teams honored this year.
In the photo, the prosecution team honorees, from top to bottom are:
Ø Shawn A. Weede, Criminal Chief, USAO
Ø Millard Greer, Lieutenant, Delaware State Police
Ø Joseph P. Gordon, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, FBI
Ø Edward J. McAndrew, former Assistant U.S. Attorney, USAO
Ø Jamie M. McCall, Assistant U.S. Attorney, USAO
Ø Christine C. Oliver, Special Agent, FBI
Ø Susan P. Alfree, Victim/Witness Coordinator, USAO
Ø Sherry Kaminski, Legal Assistant, USAO
Ø Barbara Lotharp, Litigation Support Specialist, USAO