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Man convicted of murder at 15 breaks down in plea for parole

Rod Matthews was one of the first juveniles to be tried as an adult in Massachusetts.

Rod Matthews cried while speaking at his Parole Board hearing on Tuesday. Art Illman/Pool

Almost 30 years after he was convicted of beating a high school classmate to death with a baseball bat in Canton, 43-year-old Rod Matthews said he had changed and pleaded to be granted parole on Tuesday, The Boston Globe reports.

“My stomach turns in anguish how I took another person’s life,” Matthews said. “I wish it was my life taken rather than Shaun’s.”

As a 15-year-old in 1988, Matthews was one of the first juveniles to be tried as an adult in Massachusetts. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, and has twice been denied freedom by the Parole Board.

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Jeanne Quinn, the mother of the victim, said she had forgiven Matthews, but she said she did not support his release.

“I don’t believe a leopard can change his spots,” Quinn told the Globe after the hearing. “The first time he gets the urge . . . he’s going to kill again.”

You can read the full story at The Boston Globe.

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