Schenectady man convicted of trying to kill boyfriend of former girlfriend

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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— A man was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

Radheya Mathews, 35, formerly of Stanley Street, was found guilty by a Schenectady County Court jury of one count each of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, as well as a weapons count.

The jurors deliberated for about eight hours before coming to their verdict, that Mathews tried to kill the new boyfriend, Riley Ritter, prosecutor Tracey Brunecz said.

“It was, in my opinion, the right decision, the correct decision,” she said later. “There was never any doubt in the people’s mind that he entered that house, found Riley in the bedroom and tried to kill him.”

The jury found that Mathews tried to kill Ritter on June 14, 2011, when he shot him once in the chest after finding him in bed with Mathews’ former girlfriend.

In opening statements, Brunecz described to the jury how Ritter and the former girlfriend awoke to a shadowy figure over their bed, asking Ritter how he would feel if he saw another man in bed with the mother of his children.

The figure then turned to the woman, reminding her he had warned her never to have another man in front of his children.

The figure then grabbed a gun and opened fire, shooting Ritter once inside the Mumford Street apartment. The next thing Ritter remembered was five days later, when he woke up in the hospital, after his life was saved by doctors, Brunecz said.

Also included in the evidence was a text message from Mathews announcing that he was coming over, attorneys said.

Mathews was represented by attorney Fred Rench, who could not be reached for comment.

In his opening statement at the trial, Rench tried to focus the case on inconsistencies he expected in key witness testimony.

Mathews had also been charged with first-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into the residence, but the jury acquitted him of that count. Brunecz speculated the acquittal came due to testimony that Mathews had previously been allowed to come and go at the apartment.

Mathews is to be sentenced April 19. He faces up to 25 years in state prison. The trial was held before acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino.

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