Alabama man gets life for slashing his teen girlfriend’s neck

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, February 17, 2022

A north Alabama man who pleaded guilty to killing his teen girlfriend, whose throat was slashed more than two years ago, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Charles Elliott sentenced Bernandino Miguel Matias, 21, in the stabbing death of Tania Rico, 16, during a hearing Wednesday, the Decatur Daily reported.

Rico’s mother, Manuela Rico, said she was “very thankful” for the judge’s decision and prosecutors, who sought the life term.

“They all went above and beyond to make sure Tania got justice,” she said.

The victim would have been a high school senior this year. Matias was 19 when he killed her in October 2019 and pleaded guilty to murder in December.

Paul Holland, Matias’ lawyer, said it was too early to say whether he would appeal. A judge previously denied Matias youthful offender status, which could have resulted in a more lenient sentence.