IGNACIO, Colorado — A Colorado man has been charged with killing his wife on New Year’s Eve shortly after being released from jail on a domestic violence charge, authorities said.
Damon Mathews, 44, was arrested on Saturday and charged with the murder of his wife, 47-year-old Rachel Matthews..
He had been previously arrested twice for allegedly beating his wife and she had an order of protection against him.
Mathews’ former wife, April Shawl, told the Durango Herald that Mathews was a dangerous person.
“I always knew he’d never be stopped until he murdered a woman. It’s haunted me,” she said.
The Mathews had been celebrating New Year’s Eve together in their Ignacio home when they started to argue. Mathews then strangled his wife, took her car keys and a gun before shooting her in the head, police said.
He then fled the scene, taking his wife’s car and driving to the Denver-metro area, where he was arrested New Year’s Day.
Mathews told investigators that despite a protection order against him, he was living in the back house at his wife’s home. The two were celebrating New Year’s Eve together when they started to fight, he told cops.
“Damon said he knew if the police came, he would go to jail again because of the protection order and because he was on bond for the previous domestic violence with Rachel,” the investigating officer wrote.
Mathews said he then started to strangle Ream. He then went into the main house, took Ream’s car keys and money, got a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and shot Ream one time in the head, Mathews told police.
Mathews said he then drove to Grand Junction and to the Denver area where he got high on methamphetamine. After a car tire blew out, he called 911 and told officers he believed there was a warrant for his arrest for murder.
Mathews had previously been arrested Nov. 24 for third-degree assault in an incident that sent his wife to the hospital with a gash above her left eye, according to court records.
Cops then arrested him and put him in jail for the domestic violence incident in November.
Mathews is being held without bond.