Defense Testimony Resumes in Federal Cyberstalking Trial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Defense Testimony Resumes in Federal Cyberstalking Trial

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The New Castle County Courthouse The New Castle County Courthouse

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP)- Defense attorneys continued to call witnesses Monday as the trial winds down in the federal conspiracy and cyberstalking case against the widow and children of a man who killed his ex-daughter-in-law at a Delaware courthouse.
    
David Matusiewicz, his mother, Lenore, and his sister, Amy Gonzalez, are being tried on charges related to the death of David's ex-wife, Christine Belford. If convicted, they could face life in prison, a punishment Justice Department officials believe would be unprecedented for cyberstalking resulting in death.
    
Belford and a friend were shot and killed in February 2013 by Thomas Matusiewicz, who then exchanged gunfire with police before killing himself.
    
The shootings stemmed from a long and bitter custody battle. David Matusiewicz had lost his parental rights after he and his mother kidnapped his three daughters and took them to Central America in 2007. David and Lenore Matusiewicz, who both went to prison, claimed after the kidnapping that it was an attempt to protect the girls from abuse Belford.
    
Michael O'Rourke, a private investigator hired by David Matusiewicz in 2006 during his custody dispute with Belford, testified Monday that David Matusiewicz never asked him to do anything improper or illegal. He also said Matusiewicz never alleged that Belford was sexually abusing any of the children at the time, but that he later heard of such allegations after Matusiewicz was arrested on the kidnapping charge.
    
O'Rourke also testified that after the shootings, David Matusiewicz allowed him to give the FBI and state police records of his investigative work related to Belford.
    
Prosecutors allege David Matusiewicz conspired with his parents and sister over several years to torment and stalk his ex-wife with the intent to injure, harass, intimidate and kill her, repeatedly accusing Belford in email communications, letters and Internet postings of abusing and neglecting the couple's daughters.
    
But Thomas Matusiewicz's family members have denied knowing that he intended to kill Belford.

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