Burton Back In Court For Criminal Motions Hearing - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Burton Back In Court For Criminal Motions Hearing

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Suspected killer: Matthew Burton Suspected killer: Matthew Burton
Victim: Nicole Bennett Victim: Nicole Bennett

SNOW HILL, Md. - Ten months after the chilling rape and murder of 35-year-old Nicole Bennett, the wounds still seem so fresh. It was apparent on the face of her husband Kevin Bennett, as her alleged killer walked into the courtroom.

29-year-old Matthew Burton faces a slew of charges including first degree murder and rape after Bennett's body was found along a Worcester County road the morning after she went missing last June. Her husband called police when she did not come home from work at Bay Shore Community Church in Gumboro. But it appeared Burton showed no signs of remorse in court and was caught with a smile on his face on several occasions.

Of the many motions on the table, the judge made a ruling on just one - whether or not to allow the testimony of a jailhouse witness whom Burton allegedly discussed the case with. The defense requested to exclude his testimony from the trial, but the judge denied that motion. As for the other motions, the judge is expected to submit his rulings on paper by the end of this week. There was discussion on postponing the trial date which is currently set for June 10th. A motion to do so is expected to be filed this week.

Matthew Burton's mother, Bonnie Burton, who is a witness in this case, tells WMDT her son is innocent. After the hearing, she was given permission to hug her son. They embraced, she broke out in tears and Matthew just kept on smiling.

Nicole Bennett is survived by her husband Kevin, and three young daughters. 

It appears her family is now suing the church where Nicole worked for negligence. Earlier this month, the Bennett family filed a wrongful death civil suit against the Bay Shore Community church, the church's pastor, and Matthew Burton. The suit alleges that the pastor knew of Burton's history as a sex offender, and should be held partly responsible for not warning Nicole Bennett or other members of the church about the danger.

The church responded to the matter with this statement released to WMDT. 

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