An Indian American man has been sentenced to life for fatally stabbing his 26-year-old wife 17 times and then driving over her body “like she was a speed bump” in 2020 before fleeing from the scene.
Philip Mathew of Florida pleaded no contest on Nov 3 to the first-degree murder of Merin Joy, who was planning an escape from an abusive relationship, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reported.
Mathew blocked Joy’s car in with his vehicle at the parking lot of Broward Health Coral Springs hospital, where she worked, according to the police. He then slashed her repeatedly and drove over her body on the ground before driving off, police added.
After the incident, one of Joy’s colleagues said that Mathew drove over her “like she was a speed bump,” and as they rushed to her aid, Joy could only cry to them over and over, saying “I have a baby,” the Sentinel said.
Joy revealed the identity of her attacker before succumbing to her injuries, which eventually led to Mathew’s arrest.
Mathew also pleaded no contest to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to life in state prison with no possibility of release, plus the maximum five years for the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The decision to waive the death penalty was made because of the certainty of the life sentence and because the defendant was giving up his right to appeal, Paula McMahon, spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office, was cited as saying.
“Joy’s mother is glad to know her daughter’s killer would remain the rest of his years in jail and she’s relieved to know the legal process is over,” Joby Philip, Joy’s cousin, told the Sentinel.