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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane man sentenced to life in prison after third strike

A Spokane man with a 20 year criminal history was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole this week after being found guilty of his third strike.

Matthew S. McCarthy, 37, was found guilty of first-degree burglary by a jury in September. Before his trial he filed court documents stating that his case should be dismissed, alleging that police falsified their reports about the crime and that corrections officers abused him physically and psychologically while he was in jail.

The Washington State Court of Appeals found no merit to his claims. Their written decision said that the petition “must be supported by facts and not merely self-serving or conclusory allegations.”

McCarthy has had more than 30 felony and misdemeanor convictions since 1996. Only violent felonies that occur in three separate incidents count as a strike under Washington State’s three-strikes law, which requires a life sentence after the third qualifying conviction.

His convictions include assault, theft, robbery, criminal mistreatment, possession of a controlled substance, domestic violence assault and violation of a protection order. Court documents indicate he had only recently been released from prison before being arrested on the burglary charge in September 2014.