Final suspect sentenced in drug robbery that claimed the life of Skylar Powell

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Dayne Matthews

Dayne Matthews

A 20-year-old St. Joseph man is heading to prison for ten years for his role in the drug deal and robbery that led to the fatal shooting of Sklylar Powell last June.

Dayne Matthews was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Judge Patrick Robb for his guilty plea to charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.

Matthew’s defense lawyer Shelley Peters argued for probation in the case. Peters argued that Matthews remained in the passenger seat of the vehicle during the ill-fated marijuana deal and robbery. She said her client watched the muzzle flash and gunfire, that he drove away while gunfire was still going on, and in fact was hit by one of the bullets. She offered the judge a photograph of Matthews’ injury, which she admitted was not too serious and only required a band-aid.

Peters said Matthews didn’t learn that Powell was killed until the next day, at which point he contacted police at the urging of his father.

“Dayne’s role was the guy who knew a guy who could get some weed,” Peters said.

Matthews then apologized to the family and friends of the victim, and to the people of St. Joseph, admitting he had made bad choices and accepts full responsibility for those choices.

Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Scroggins argued that Matthews was one of the three main players in the transaction, including the victim and Ashton Surritte. Surritte set up the drug robbery at Powell’s request. She pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery in October and was sentenced in December to serve 15 years in prison (click here).

Scroggins also argued that Matthews was a regular drug dealer, who was making deals at more than $1,000 each. Judge Robb agreed that the size of the transaction was an aggravating factor.

Robb ordered Matthews to serve ten years for possession with intent to deliver, and two years tampering with physical evidence. Those sentences will be served at the same time.

A large group of Matthews’ family were on hand for the sentencing, and were drying when the defendant was taken away by deputies to begin serving his sentence.

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