KENOSHA, WI–Donna Matthews has been found guilty of first degree intentional homicide. After only two and a half hours of deliberation the jury rejected Matthews claim that she shot and killed Michael Gayan in his Kenosha home on on July 4th 2016 in self defense. She now will be sentenced to life in prison. The defense lost despite a week long effort trying to convince the jury that Matthews killed her former boyfriend Michael Gayan due to “battered woman syndrome.”
Matthews reportedly flew from her home in Hawaii back to Kenosha the day of the murder and after being driven by her brother to Gayan’s Kenosha home, hid inside until she confronted him and pulled the trigger. She shot Gayan during the city’s Independence Day fireworks display in order to cover up the sound of the gunshots.
Jurors sorted through numerous days of testimony from Matthews herself, who laid out the sordid details of her relationship with Gayan. There were numerous text messages and explicit pictures entered into evidence as well as Gayan’s apparent history of violence against women.
Matthews testified that Gayan threatened to murder members of her family if she did not reunite with him, giving her a deadline of July 5th. Instead Gayan was killed the day before that deadline. His body was discovered in east side Kenosha home weeks after his death.
Matthews will be sentenced next month. The judge will decide when-if ever-she will be eligible for supervised release.