Lancaster County DA’s office files third-strike motion against convicted Columbia man

LANCASTER, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office recently filed a notice to seek a third-strike sentence against a Columbia man that was convicted of raping and beating a woman in 2015.

Thomas Matthews, 37, will be sentenced on May 31 regarding the January trial conviction on 11 counts, including rape and aggravated assault.

However, officials aim to have Matthews receive a sentence of at least 25 years after ADA Karen Mansfield filed a motion because Matthews has at least two prior convictions for violent crimes.

He was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2004 and of kidnapping and aggravated assault in 2010, each of which took place in Arizona.

Now, Matthews is facing a new set of charges for beating another inmate last month at Lancaster County Prison.

On April 3, Matthews followed an inmate to his cell, closed the door and beat him, punching and kicking the male until he was unconscious.

Matthews also punched the victim’s cellmate in an attempt to silence calls for help.

The inmate suffered brain bleeding along with facial and skull fractures from the attack.

On Wednesday, Matthews was arraigned in court on counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, and two counts of unlawful restraint.