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Seymour Johnson airman faces court-martial in son's death

Posted July 19, 2013

Matthew Theurer
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— Military officials are proceeding with a court-martial against a senior airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base who is charged in his son's death.

After an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury, charges against Matthew Theurer, 21, of murder by an act inherently dangerous to another, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, child endangerment, obstruction of justice and making a false official statement were referred for prosecution.

The charges stem from the death of 14-month-old Matthew Theurer, whose body was discovered in a plastic bag on March 12 in a wooded area along N.C. Highway 905, between Whiteville and Tabor City in Columbus County.

According to an autopsy, the boy was severely malnourished and died of neglect.

Authorities said the child lived with his mother in Indiana until last July, when she asked Theurer to take him because she could no longer care for him.

The boy attended off-base day care from August to November and was scheduled to start base day care in December, but he never went. Theurer had moved a friend into his base apartment to care for the child, but she was escorted off the base in January, according to the autopsy report.

“After this date, no day care was provided for this child, and he was left alone for approximately 12 hours every day and was provided with little food while his father was at … work,” the report said.

The court-martial is scheduled to start Oct. 15 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

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  • mrschizzy Jul 19, 2013

    ncveteranswife - the safe surrender laws are only good for a certain amount of time after birth. I don't think they would apply to a toddler like this. I think he would have to go into foster care.

    That being said...my husband and I are struggling to have a child of our own. We would have adopted him and given him LOTS of love! He didn't have to die!

  • ncveteranswife Jul 19, 2013

    No excuse...There is also Safe Surrender available in NC.

  • mjkmj Jul 19, 2013

    Where were these young kid's parents? Were there no other people in their lives that could have helped them? At least, as FTPC99 said, there are so many ways the military community could have helped. This is sick and sad. Poor baby.

  • trueblue0100 Jul 19, 2013

    "After this date, no day care was provided for this child, and he was left alone for approximately 12 hours every day and was provided with little food while his father was at … work,” the report said."

    I can't even begin to imagine what this little infant went through. No care, hardly any food and then dumped by the side of the road? This was murder, pure and simple. How does a person live with themselves after doing something like this to anyone let alone an innocent and helpless baby.

  • Obamacare rules Jul 19, 2013

    Give him the death penalty. He certainly deserves it.

  • Wake1 Jul 19, 2013

    This guy is beyond despicable!!!! Both him & the child's mother - poor pathetic excuses for human beings!!!

  • ftpc99 Jul 19, 2013

    As an AF retiree and former single parent with an infant and two tottlers I know this young man had many avenues available for help. This is completely inexcusable.

  • countrylynn3 Jul 19, 2013

    Absolutely pathetic!