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“The Zach Matthews Story”
“I used to say I don’t regret anything in my past. But then I looked inward and learned I have one regret. I regret falling into a cycle of fear and being afraid to speak up.” Zachery Matthews
This was his reply when asked about his biggest regret surrounding his case. After being incarcerated for 13 years he has finally began to speak up and reach out in a limited capacity in the hopes of regaining his freedom.
Zack faced the insurmountable odds that a lot of low income young men face, not having a lawyer or a support system, and after the judicial system failed him he came close to giving up for years. But now the odds are closer to being in his favor than they’ve ever been due to a significant law change and newly discovered evidence.
However, Zack still lives with the fear of not being heard or being dismissed because as he put it, “To the courts who am I? My reality is that I’m just another penniless black convict with a white victim trying to prove myself to people who look down on me.” He’s normally an optimistic person but only with a lawyer does he feel like the odds will finally shift to his favor because in his own words, “I messed up when I moved her body and people always ask me why would I do that?” When asked what his answer was he replied, “In retrospect the truth is I was scared. I felt like I’d be damned if I call the cops and damned if I don’t. The problem with that thinking is I didn’t give myself a chance.”
Zack was convicted of first degree murder in 2008 at the age of 21 based solely off of hearsay. He had never been charged, let alone convicted, of any domestic desputes with the mother of his child but the courts allowed his two week trial to be focused solely on those uncorroborated allegations.
DNA was also falsely interpreted. When the original DNA test excluded him there was a second test administered called the Y-chromosome test. This only tested for male DNA and any male related to Mr. Matthews was NOT excluded. As a result DNA of his son, brother, uncle or father could be “claimed” as his. Furthermore, this DNA had barely touched the murder weapon and was not on any significant part of the weapon.
He has taken responsibility for his role of moving the mother of his child’s body and expresses deep and sincere remorse for the pain his actions caused to the community, her family and their son. While he believes he may never be forgiven by her family he still believes and hopes he can bring positive influence over the life of their son and others in similar situations.
He has become a published author and wants to advocate for, and start a program with, fatherless youth and hopes that a lawyer and new trial will result in him being able to step out from behind this incident and move forward in a positive manner.
Any amount will help him continue his appealate process and any of those who have further questions or comments for him or would like to speak or pray with him are free to contact him via the jpay app @209462 Matthews.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Categories: Zachery Matthews