Opp man gets life for rape

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An Opp man will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty last week to the January rape of a 79-year-old woman.

Corey Darnell Matthews, 42, pleaded guilty to rape in the first degree Friday morning before Circuit Court Judge Ashley McKathan. Matthews, whose case was set for trial this Thursday, received a life sentence for his crime.

“Matthews was a four-time convicted felon,” said District Attorney Walt Merrell. “Life was the only thing I was going to accept as part of any plea agreement.”

According to warrant affidavits, Matthews entered the victim’s home by way of an unlocked window, around 2:45 a.m. on Jan. 20. After entering the home, he held a knife to the victim’s throat and proceeded to forcibly rape her. The victim’s name was not made public.

“This is a horrible, horrible crime,” Merrell said. “This sweet lady spent her entire life giving back to our community and for her to be victimized and violated like this is an absolute tragedy. We’d like to think that these types of things don’t happen in Covington County, and I’m proud to say that they rarely do – but this case proves to us all that you can never take safety for granted.”

Merrell commended Opp Police Department Investigators Walter Inabinett, David Harrell and Mark Kyser for their work and for Matthews’ quick apprehension, to the Alabama Bureau of Investigations for their finger print examinations and to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for its DNA analysis.