Detroit police say man accused of sexual assault, murder slipped through cracks 15 years ago

James Matthews being brought back to Detroit to face charges

DETROIT – Detroit police said a man accused of sexual assault and murder slipped through the cracks 15 years ago, but now he's being brought back to face charges.

James Edward Matthews was accused of sexual assault in Detroit in 2000, but he was never charged in the case. In 2003, he was linked to a murder, but prosecutors didn't charge him, and police detectives didn't follow up on the case.

Those incidents happened before police Chief James Craig arrived in Detroit, and he said there's no way this should have happened.

Since then, Matthews is suspected in three murders in Texas and one in New York, where he is currently in custody. Officials said he might have killed six people across Michigan, Texas and New York.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller said Matthews is being extradited to Detroit, where he will be charged with sexual assault and murder.

Craig said too many mistakes were made in the case.

About the Authors: