Wife and daughter of courthouse shooter appear in Delaware court

Two family members of the New Castle County Courthouse shooter made an initial court appearance in Wilmington on Thursday after an indictment was handed down against the women last month.

Lenore Matusiewicz and Amy Gonzalez, the wife and daughter of Thomas Matusiewicz, were extradited from Texas to hear the charges brought against them involving years of alleged stalking and harassing of their ex-in-law, Christine Belford.

Thomas gunned down Belford and her friend, Laura Mulford, at the New Castle County Courthouse in February before a child support hearing. Thomas took his own life following a shootout with Capitol Police.

Lenore is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit interstate and cyber-stalking, one count of interstate stalking, one count of interstate stalking resulting in the death of a victim and one count of cyber stalking with the intent to kill, intimidate or harass a victim. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison along with three years of supervised release and fines.

Gonzalez is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit interstate and cyber-stalking and one count of cyber stalking resulting in the death of a victim. She also faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, three years of supervised release and fines.

The women remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for next week.

The indictment claims that for years, the Matusiewicz family spied on, harassed and defamed Belford using email, social media and other websites.

It also alleges that Lenore and Thomas traveled to Delaware in 2011 with the intent to kill, injure or harass Belford.

Belford’s ex-husband David Matusiewicz faces similar charges. He is also in custody pending a trial.

A no contact order was also issued between the family members and Belford’s four daughters, three of whom she shared with David.

History of trouble

This isn’t the first time Lenore and David have been in trouble.  In 2007 the pair kidnapped the three young girls and fled to South America following David’s bitter divorce from Belford. They were captured in Nicaragua in 2009 and both served prison time.The girls were returned to Belford.

David was released last September and had been living with his parents in Texas. He made multiple attempts to gain permission from his probation officer to travel to Delaware following his release. He was granted permission to travel to the state in February for the child support hearing.  However, he failed to mention he was traveling with his parents and lied about who he was staying with. He served six months in prison earlier this year for violating probation.

The morning of February 11th, David and Thomas arrived together at the courthouse. David went through security and onto the hearing while Thomas waited for Belford in the lobby. When she arrived, he shot her and Mulford before taking his own life.

The indictment also suggests Thomas was preparing for his own death. Investigators searching his Texas home found a booklet containing information about federal veteran benefits along with a handwritten note from Thomas that read “vets funeral arrangements.”

Just days before the courthouse shooting, Thomas also left his daughter Amy instructions on how to handle the family’s property.

Judge Mary Pat Thynge said she’ll take the family’s past criminal history into consideration at the detention hearing.

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