Palm Coast man charged in elderly mother's death

Richard Mathews, 62, claimed mother asked him to help her die


PALM COAST, Fla. – A Palm Coast man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of his 88-year-old mother.

Deputies said they were called to the home of Richard Guyton Mathews, 62, and his mother on Feb. 21 after he reportedly found his mother dead, sitting in the living room chair.

The woman's physician was called to sign a death certificate and her body was removed from the home.

Several days later, detectives were called by an employee of Lohmans Funeral Home in Palm Coast, who said Mathews admitted to them while he was reportedly "highly intoxicated" that his mother had asked him to kill her, officials said.

The employee told detectives that Mathews claimed he first tried to fulfill his mother's request by strangling her, but when he was unable to go through with it he just gave her sleeping pills.

After an autopsy of the elderly woman's body, the medical examiner confirmed that the mother had been strangled and ruled the death a homicide. High levels of several medications were also reported to be present in the woman's body.

Officials said upon questioning Mathews made statements consistent with the reports made by the funeral home employee.

Mathews was transported to Flagler County Detention Center, where he is being held on $250,000 bond.