Lancaster man’s appeal of his sentence for 2014 murder backfires, could result in more prison time

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LANCASTER — A man convicted of the 2014 murder of a Lancaster County school teacher appealed his life sentence, but it backfired on him.

A Pennsylvania appeals court ordered a re-sentencing for Marcus Rutter, who was 16 when he killed Nicole Mathewson.

But that’s not good news for Rutter, who argued in his appeal for relief from the sentence imposed on him by a Lancaster County judge was too harsh.

Rutter and an accomplice, Thomas Moore, were accused of slaying Mathewson, a teacher at Brownstown Elementary School, in her home on the 700 block of North Franklin Street. They also stole her debit card, vehicle and other items.

Moore, who was 25 at the time of the murder, is serving a life sentence, plus 20 years.

Rutter pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree murder, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property and access device fraud for his role in the murder.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Monday that the 35- to 70-year prison term Rutter is serving on the first-degree murder charge should have included a maximum term of life in prison.

As a result, Rutter could wind up serving even more time.

Rutter, now 19,  was ordered to serve consecutive terms on the other charges in addition to the first-degree murder sentence, bringing his total to 54 to 109 years.




The Superior Court denied all of Rutter’s other claims regarding legality of his sentence.

Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth, who ordered the original sentence, will preside over the upcoming hearing.