SAN ANTONIO - A Bexar County judge accepted a plea agreement for a teenager accused of brutally murdering his mother this spring.
Matthew James Dempsey, 18, pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday after beating his mother Mary Helen Dempsey with a baseball bat and slitting her throat.
The plea was for Dempsey to spend 42 years in prison, which means he could be eligible for parole in 21 years. According to prosecutors, the deal was accepted by Mary Helen's daughter, but other family members, who were in court, say it isn't enough.
Back on April 18, Dempsey and Daniel Saucedo, 18, were allegedly robbing Mary Helen's home while she was away. When she arrived home, Matthew allegedly struck her in the back of the head with a baseball bat and the two men continued to beat her with baseball bats until one of the two men allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and slit her throat. They then allegedly stole credit cards and Mary Dempsey‘s car.
There is disagreement with family members on this plea deal. The victim’s daughter, who discovered her mother’s body in the home, approved the 42-year prison sentence. Other family members wanted this to go to trial for capital murder, which could end with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“Not having her around, not talking to her, and not seeing her -- it’s just a lot of things. And then this - her son doing this to her. I don’t understand why. I just want to know why why he did it," said Elizabeth Castro, the victim's niece.
“In a situation like this, it’s such a tragic occurrence. There’s no making anybody happy, no matter what happens. There’s unhappiness all across the board,” said Scott Simpson, the prosecuting attorney.
As part of the plea deal, Dempsey has agreed to testify in the case against Saucedo, if it goes to trial. There's a chance that he could seek a similar plea deal agreement.
Saucedo is scheduled to be back in court in December, although that will likely get pushed to next year.
Dempsey will remain in the Bexar County Jail until there's a decision in Saucedo's case, and then he'll be sent to prison.