Driver dies after being stabbed 18 times by ‘tweaking’ man in his passenger seat: prosecutors

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago man stabbed an acquaintance 18 times as he rode in the passenger seat of the victim’s car, causing the driver to crash and the vehicle to flip over. The 65-year-old victim died from the knife attack.

Ronald Matthews, 51, allegedly told police he was “tweaking” at the time of the attack because he did drugs before getting into the man’s car.

“The court shudders to think what [might happen] should the defendant tweak again,” said Judge Maryam Ahmad before ordering Matthews held without bail.

Assistant State’s Attorney Karin Swanson said the victim, an acquaintance of Matthews, picked him up early on September 11, and the pair drove around together.

As the victim drove down an alley in the South Shore neighborhood, Matthews stabbed him repeatedly from the passenger seat, Swanson continued. The victim lost control of the car, which slammed into a dumpster, ran up a fence, and flipped over.

Chicago police found the driver lying outside the vehicle. Swanson said the medical examiner determined that he died from the stabbing.

Surveillance footage from the alley showed Matthews throwing something onto the roof of a garage as he walked away from the scene. Investigators later found a knife on the roof. A witness told police that they saw Matthews sharpening the same knife before he left his house to go with the victim, Swanson said.

Ronald Matthews | Cook County sheriff’s office

When he got home after the murder, Matthews woke up his aunt and told her the victim had died in a car crash, Swanson said. He told a second person the same thing.

After police arrested Matthews on September 14, he initially said he stabbed the victim in a dispute over $40 in drug money, according to Swanson. She said he later said he blacked out and didn’t remember what happened. Later still, he allegedly told police that he confronted the victim about a burglary at a relative’s home, and the victim became aggressive, leading to the stabbing.

Matthews, convicted of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old in 1996, has been convicted four times of failing to register as a sex offender, Swanson said.

Prosecutors have charged him with first-degree murder and again failing to register as a sex offender.

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