18 Year Sentence for “Senseless” Killing of Rico Matthews

It was just a little over a year ago that Rico Matthews was playing video games with friends when Jerome Bailey knocked on the door, entered the home and, in what prosecutors described as a “jealous rage,” chased Matthews through the house shooting at him.

Today Judge Lynn Leibovitz called that crime “senseless.”

Two lives have been lost,” she said just before sentencing Bailey to 18 years in prison on the charge of second-degree murder.

Matthews, who was shot six times on Nov. 5, 2010, died that same day of his injuries.

Orlando Jenkins, his father, told Leibovitz that Matthew’s death has devastated his family.

This is a real bad tragedy,” he said. “I lost part of my heart.”

The government’s evidence in the case concluded that Bailey believed Matthews was interested in a woman Bailey was non-exclusively dating.

Bailey “worked himself into a rage” about that, AUSA Emily Miller said, adding that that rage spilled over, “culminating” with Matthew’s violent death. Bailey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Sept. 2011.

At sentencing, Bailey’s words were simple: “I want to say I’m sorry to both my family and Rico’s family,” he said.

But Leibovitz had a message for him.

It’s about time for you to get a grip on how to control your impulses,” she said.

The government’s sentencing memorandum is below.

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