Three families sobbed Friday as a Spokane jury returned guilty verdicts against a man and a woman who fought and killed another man in 2009.
The jury found Matthew M. Nedeau and Maggie M. Tyler guilty of second-degree murder in connection to the July 6, 2009, slaying of 24-year-old Vitaly Shevchuk.
“I am really, really sorry for their mothers,” said Lyudmila Shevchuk, the victim’s mother. “They are not the enemy. From all my heart, I pray for them every night for strength. But their children are still alive.”
Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor directed attorneys to work on a date for sentencing, which will include a mandatory minimum 10 years added to the murder charge because the jury found that both Nedeau and Tyler were armed with a deadly weapon at the time of the killing.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutors Eugene Cruz and Tom Treppiedi said Nedeau and Tyler stabbed Shevchuk after the victim yelled something at their car and they stopped and confronted him near Fifth Avenue and Greene Street.
After Nedeau stopped the car, a fight ensued in which Nedeau stabbed Shevchuk in the chest, injuring but not killing him. Nedeau, Tyler and a third person drove a short distance then returned to the scene and again confronted Shevchuk, who had grabbed a pipe and was joined by at least two others. During a second scuffle with Nedeau, Tyler fatally stabbed Shevchuk in the neck.
Defense attorney John Stine acknowledged that it wasn’t smart for Nedeau to respond to Shevchuk’s shout by stopping the car.
But Lyudmila Shevchuk said the decision to pull the knife is what caused the tragedy.
“If they would have put down the knife like they were told, nobody would be killed and nobody would be in jail,” she said. “I have three grandchildren who will never see their uncle.”