Burton to be extradited to MarylandWill stand trial in murder of Nicole Bennett
Following a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, Matthew N. Burton, will be extradited to Maryland to stand trial for the murder of Nicole Bennett, a 35-year-old mother of three who lived in Long Neck.
Burton, 28, is charged with first- and second-degree murder in Bennett's death.
Bennett's body was discovered June 15 off a rural road near Whaleyville, Md., nearly six miles southeast of Bay Shore Community Church, outside Gumboro, where police said both Bennett and Burton were working June 14.
Burton was escorted into Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown by Sussex Correctional Institution guards. He was shackled and sat quietly as Judge Howard Mulvaney III read the governors' warrant.
The warrant, signed by both Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, lists Burton's charges and requests he be taken to Worcester County to stand trial. O'Malley signed the warrant July 31. Markell signed it Aug. 2.
Maryland State Police Trooper Sabrina Metzger will be in charge of transporting Burton.
Once in Maryland, Burton will be arraigned and taken to the county detention center, said Maryland Deputy State's Attorney Abby Marsh.
Jason Miller, spokesman for Delaware Department of Justice said representatives from DOJ were present at the extradition hearing to monitor the proceeding.
Burton remains incarcerated in Delaware pending a hearing in Superior Court, set for Thursday, Aug. 16, to hear Burton's habeas corpus petition challenging his extradition, Miller said.
Delaware attorney John Garey asked the judge to issue a stay for Burton. Garey said Burton would like to file a petition of habeas corpus, which he said is allowed reasonable time under Delaware law.
Mulvaney denied the request, and said Burton had the 30 days between the time he was arrested and the extradition hearing Aug. 6. Garey asked the judge to reconsider, but Mulvaney declined.
After the hearing, which lasted fewer than 20 minutes, Garey declined to comment.
Once Burton is arraigned in Maryland, he will be represented by Flynn Owens, a private Baltimore attorney, who said he needed to discuss the case with Garey before making a statement.
Both Garey and Owens followed a Department of Correction van carrying Burton back to SCI.
In the courtroom were eight of Burton's family members, including his mother and father, Bonnie and Gene Burton; his wife, Traci; and his brother, Daniel.
The family held hands and remained serene during the proceedings. After the judge's decision was announced, the family exited together, and holding hands proceeded to a large white van parked in the court lot. When asked, the family declined to comment.