Auburn man faces life behind bars for murdering parents

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn man convicted of stabbing his parents to death at their South Natomas home three years ago is facing life imprisonment, the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office said. Jurors in a Sacramento County Superior Court case decided last week that Matthew Riley was guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Steve and Linda Riley in December 2008. Riley, 30 at the time, left his New Airport Road apartment in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 2008 to kill his parents. Evidence at the trial showed that the Steven Riley, 54, and Linda Riley, 52, died from a combined 19 stab wounds. Riley had contended that he had discovered the bodies the afternoon of Dec. 9 after going to their house to ask to move back in. Riley, his wife and two daughters were being evicted from their North Auburn apartment building. But the jury decided that Riley went to his parent’s house and stabbed them to death. Investigators indicated in court filings that Riley staged a fake ransacking of the residence while leaving valuables that normally would have been taken by a thief untouched. Investigators also characterized Riley’s reaction to questioning as deceptive. The prosecution presented evidence that showed Riley’s footprints matched the bloody sock prints found in the house. The jury also found true the multiple-murder special circumstance put forward by Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore. Riley’s sentencing is set for 11 a.m. Dec. 2 in Sacramento County Superior Court’s Department 32 in front of Judge Gary Mullen. – Gus Thomson