Date: October 26, 2005 Victim’s Name: Matthew Carrington To: Judge Stephen Benson
This letter is to let you know how deeply affected our whole family is with the loss of Matthew Carrington. We knew Matt through our children’s baseball association. He was the big brother to our son’s friend and teammate. Matt was always there not only for his family and brother, but the whole team and league. Every day we think of Matt and miss him dearly!
His smile and infectious personality was such a positive influence for us all. To be concise, our favorite Matt story goes as follows:
Each year every baseball team needs to provide an umpire for the season. One year none of the parents were willing to volunteer. Matt saw our need and “stepped up to the plate.” At first, the league was a bit apprehensive about an 18-year old umpire facing parents, coaches, and players. Over the season, he was amazing at how well he handled everyone. He would just smile and say, “He was out, Coach” and that was the end of it!
I’ll never forget relaying this story at his funeral service before hundreds of mourners, his parents, his brother, and his brother’s baseball team in their team jackets. The tears and sorrow I saw in the audience broke my heart.
What happened to Matt was not an accident. It was a plain and simple act of intentional terror and torture to a young man who just wanted to belong and help his friend belong. He trusted these people to guard his safety and in reflection, there was no regard at all!!
These people are criminals who used the net of “hazing” to murder this young man with a bright future ahead. They deserve the full penalties of murder, not a “slap on the wrist” for hazing.
We are proud and support his family and their efforts to increase awareness and change the laws regarding hazing. Hazing is not funny — it is a dysfunctional activity that needs to stop before more wonderful young people like Matt and their families, lose life!
Art, Kris, & Valentina Flores Nic & Josh Nuyten