Jury recommends death for man convicted of killing teen siblings in Garfield Heights

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GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A jury on Friday recommended the death penalty for the man who was convicted of killing two teenagers in Garfield Heights in 2018.

Matthew Nicholson, 30, killed Manuel Lopez, 17; and Giselle Lopez, 19, the prosecutor's office said.

On Oct. 11, the jury found Nicholson guilty of aggravated murder for the deaths of the two teenagers, and attempted felonious assault on their mother.

According to the prosecutor's office, on Sept. 5, 2018, Nicholson got off work and drove to a house owned by his girlfriend near E. 86th St. and Garfield Blvd. in Garfield Heights.

Nicholson argued with her about another relationship and authorities said he attacked her in a bedroom, strangling her and striking her in the face several times.

The victim's teenage son tried to stop the attack and a struggle happened between him and Nicholson.

Matthew Nicholson (Photo courtesy: Garfield Heights police)

The prosecutor's office said the mother separated them; the teen then called police while Nicholson got a gun.

At that time, the 19-year-old daughter had returned home from work. When the victim told her children to run outside, authorities said Nicholson fired 13 shots at them. Both suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the back.  The 17-year-old boy died at the scene; the 19-year-old daughter passed away at the hospital.

“The heinous facts in this case led us to seek the death penalty. With this result, it is clear the Jurors agreed with our decision,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of the teenage victims.”

The judge will consider the jury's recommendation for the death penalty when he imposes sentencing at 12:30 p.m. on November 13.

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