May 11 2010
Fort Langley home invasion victim has died
By Monique Tamminga
A Fort Langley man who was beaten with a bat and robbed during a violent home invasion on April 6 has died.
The 52-year-old victim, who didn’t know his attacker, had been severely beaten in the head, body and legs before police surrounded the home and managed to arrest a 23-year-old career criminal.
The accused, Matthew Sherwin, of Langley, may now see charges of assault upgraded to murder.
The Times was unable to find out when the victim died. Langley RCMP have not released any information about this homicide investigation.
A concerned friend of the victim contacted The Times, questioning what information police were releasing. Police confirmed his death when asked about it on Tuesday.
“We are treating it as a homicide at the moment, but we are waiting for the key piece of information from the coroner’s report which will determine whether the victim died as a result of the beating or of another cause,” said Langley RCMP Sgt. Tom James.
The victim, whose name may be released later this week, had just moved into his home in the 23000 block of 96 Avenue. He lived alone.
On April 6, he awoke to his front door being kicked in around 4 a.m. According to police, when he emerged from his bedroom he was attacked with a baseball bat.
His injuries were so severe that he was hospitalized twice.
A 911 call about a robbery in progress led police to the 52-year-old’s home, where they could hear yelling from inside the house and what sounded like items being thrown at a window, said police at the time.
As the officers positioned themselves around the house, a man holding a baseball bat exited the back door.
An officer ordered him to raise his hands. The suspect dropped the bat on the ground and as he was backing away from the officer, he threw a large sheathed hunting knife at the Mountie, said police.
The suspect attempted to run, but was stopped by another officer.
A struggle ensued, requiring four police officers to restrain and handcuff the suspect, who was later identified by police as Sherwin.
Police allege property from inside the home was seized from Sherwin at the time of his arrest.
Police rushed inside the home and the victim was taken to hospital by ambulance.
“The victim continues to suffer from injuries sustained that day and recently returned to the hospital,” police spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks said three weeks ago.
There are no criminal circumstances relating to the home owner, who police say was the innocent victim of a violent robbery, she said at that time. The investigation is ongoing and there may be other arrests.
Sherwin is currently charged with aggravated assault, assault with intent to resist arrest, break and enter and possession of stolen property. He remains behind bars.
According to court services, Sherwin has an extensive criminal record and is accused or has been convicted in numerous crimes since 2006.
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