Originally created 03/09/02

Judge expects plea to change



The Thomson man accused of killing his parents, stabbing his sister and fleeing to Florida last August is expected to plead guilty in a McDuffie County courthouse next week, a judge said Friday.

McDuffie County Superior Court Judge Roger Dunaway said Matthew David Dean is expected to enter a guilty plea at 4 p.m. Tuesday, less than one week before his jury trial was scheduled to begin.

"He always has the right of changing his mind, but as of now I have set aside the time on Tuesday," Judge Dunaway said.

Mr. Dean's attorney, Lucy J. Bell, said Friday her client will be entering a guilty plea.

"He had previously entered a plea of not guilty at his October arraignment and has changed his mind and chosen to resolve this matter," Ms. Bell said.

Mr. Dean, 18, is charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault and weapons charges.

He allegedly shot and killed his parents David Dean, 40, and Terri Dean, 35, and attacked his sister, Bethany, with a knife at their home in the Belle Meade Country Club subdivision Aug. 3.

Bethany survived the attack, after which her brother fled to Florida in his parents' car. Mr. Dean was later captured inside the grounds of Kennedy Space Center after a head-on collision with a pickup that killed the driver, Eddie Delawder, 52, of Winter Park, Fla.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552, or ashlee.griggs@augustachronicle.com.