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Ceres man sentenced to 27 years in prison for killing his mother over a video game headset

The judge noted the senselessness of the man's crime when sentencing him.
Credit: Tegna

MODESTO, Calif. — A Ceres man was convicted of murdering his mother in 2018 and sentenced to serve 27 years to life in state prison.

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager announced Matthew Nicholson, 32, gave a guilty plea for his crimes on April 23 and was sentenced on May 28 to state prison.

At the sentencing hearing before Judge Shawn Bessey, multiple family members and friends of Lydia Nicholson spoke about Matthew Nicholson's actions and the effect on their lives. His sister told the court how her “world absolutely shattered” the night her brother killed their mother. And that each day since then has been an “absolute nightmare.”

After the hearing, Bessey noted that Matthew Nicholson's senselessness before sentencing him for 27 years to life. 

On January 11, 2018, Ceres Police responded to a report that a man had shot his mother. When officers arrived, they found Lydia Nicholson, 68, with a gunshot wound on her head. She was transported to a nearby hospital before dying.

The Ceres Police Department said their investigation revealed that Matthew Nicholson was in his bedroom playing video games when he started yelling. His mother checked on him, and Matthew Nicholson began to argue with her before his video game headset broke.  

According to the police, Matthew Nicholson then blamed his mother for the broken headset and threatened to kill her and his father. Matthew Nicholson then retrieved a handgun in the home and shot the wall and his mother in the head.

The police said his father wrestled the firearm away from him before he drove away and went to a relative’s home in Riverbank. Law enforcement located the vehicle and Matthew Nicholson in Riverbank and took him into custody.

Matthew Nicholson was 28-years-old when he killed his mother and was held in Stanislaus County Jail without bail since his arrest.

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