Updated 03/30/2012 03:46 PM
Slocum sentenced to 88 years for White Creek triple murder
Matthew Slocum has been sentenced for killing three people last summer. Slocum was found guilty earlier this month of killing Lisa and Dan Harrington and Josh O'Brien before setting their house in White Creek on fire. Our Matt Hunter has more.
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FORT EDWARD, N.Y. – After eight heart aching months that started with the gruesome deaths of Lisa Harrington, Dan Harrington and Joshua O'Brien, followed by Washington County's largest ever manhunt which crossed state lines and ultimately led to the arrest and eventual conviction of Matthew Slocum, 24, family members of the three victims were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief Friday.
"This is a little bit of a release,” said Raymond Harrington, Dan Harrington’s father. “I don't feel like we got a victory here but it makes us feel like justice has been served today."
"He's [Slocum] never getting out, I feel relief for that, we don't ever have to worry about him getting out," said Raymond Coon, Lisa Harrington’s brother.
On Friday morning in Washington County Court, Slocum was sentenced to at least 88 years to life in prison for the July 13th murders of his mother, step-father and step-brother. The sentence came three weeks after jurors needed less than two hours to find him guilty of seven crimes, including three counts of second degree murder.
Outside the courthouse following the sentencing, dozens of family members cheered in unison.
"He deserves to be in prison until he dies and I hope he dies in prison," said Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright, who successfully prosecuted Slocum earlier this month.
Before Slocum learned his fate, family members were given the chance to address the court. Coon, Harrington and Joshua O’Brien’s mother, Pollyanna Harrington, took turns speaking. In three powerful and emotional pleas, all asked Judge Kelly McKeighan for the same thing: to show Slocum no mercy.
"[On July 13th] I ran around the burning structure calling for Dan, Lisa and Josh,” Ray
Harrington said on the stand. “The ammunition in the gun room was going off from the heat of the fire. It was the worst feeling to see."
"Josh will never be able to see his son ride his first bike, get on the bus his first day of school, have his first fight or talk him through his first broken heart," said Pollyanna O’Brien while wiping away tears.
As family members grew emotional, so too did Slocum. The convicted murderer cried
throughout the entire proceeding. Despite now having to likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, nearly everyone in the courtroom -- including the judge -- seemed to think that isn't enough of a punishment.
"Mr. Slocum, I'm telling you that the sentencing of New York State does not allow the death penalty in this case,” Judge McKeighan said before reading the sentence. “I know because I double checked."
"This is the person [Slocum] the death penalty is made for,” Kortright said. “He should be put to death with the family being able to observe it."
"God bless Dan, Lisa and Josh,” said Raymond Harrington as he concluded his message to the court. “Matthew Slocum, go straight to hell, that's where you belong."
Despite numerous powerful words from family members, not to mention Kortright and McKeighan, two people who were not heard from Friday in court were Slocum, himself, or his attorney, Washington County Public Defender Michael Mercure. While both opted not to issue a statement, Mercure did say he plans to immediately file a notice of appeal.