Defendant Testifies in Double Murder Trial
NELIGH - The defendant in a double murder case in Antelope County took the stand in his own defense Thursday, telling the jury about a love affair gone bad and a drunken rage that led to the deaths of his former girlfriend and her new husband. 33-year-old Matthew Hinrichsen of Ewing is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Hinrichsen admits to killing his former girlfriend, Victoria Lee, and her husband, Alex Vargas, but he disputes the charge that the murders were premeditated. According to the web site of the Neligh News and Leader, Hinrichsen testified that Lee had been living with him at his parents’ home a week after her marriage to Vargas. He says she moved out after showing him the notice of her marriage in the paper. On December 7th, Hinrichsen said he saw a facebook posting changing Lee’s last name to Vargas; and the couple’s bodies were found early the next morning in a burned trailer home.Nelighnews.com further reports that Hinrichsen talked about a night of heavy drinking, with stops at bars in both Orchard and Ewing. He says he became enraged when he saw Lee’s car parked outside Vargas’s trailer, after Lee had told him she was spending the weekend with her parents. He took an AK-47 into the trailer and shot through a blocked bedroom door, hitting Vargas. He and Lee struggled, and evidence indicates that he struck her several times in the head with the rifle. Hinrichsen testified that he tried to commit suicide, and expected officers to shoot and kill him when they took him into custody at his parents’ home. The trial continues today in the Antelope County Courthouse in Neligh. A jury of seven men and five women is hearing the evidence.