Laurel Teen Charged In Slaying Of His Mother's Boyfriend

July 17, 1991|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff writer

A domestic feud at a Laurel town house led to a fight Sunday in which a well-known 17-year-old youth allegedly stabbed his mother's live-in boyfriend to death, county police said.

Charged as an adult with first-degree murder is Matthew Lee Garvey, a Laurel resident who made headlines in 1987 after he lost a leg at a Laurel car wash that came under fire for employing underage workers.

The victim, John Joseph Robertson, 28, of the 9500 block of Sylvan Still Road, was stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife during a confrontation with the youth, police said.

Robertson, a construction worker for Buccaneer Foundation of Laurel, died shortly after arrival at Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital.

Garvey, who lived at the home with Robertson and his mother, Valerie Rose Tyra, was arrestedat a friend's home about four hours after the 12:15 a.m. stabbing.

A witness said Robertson was stabbed as he wielded an ax handle during the argument, police said.

Garvey and Robertson had argued in recent days about the youth's right to have friends visit the house, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a county police spokesman.

The two had argued Saturday,and Garvey "apparently made a statement that he wouldkill" Robertson, Gardner said.

Robertson and Tyra were away from the home Saturday evening and returned at about midnight. Police saida fight began shortly after their return.

Garvey fled the home after Robertson was stabbed in the chest, police said. He was later arrested without incident.

Police said Garvey was treated at Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital for a bump and a cut to the head he suffered during the fight.

He was later released and is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

At the time of his accident in the Quality Car Wash, Garvey was only 13 and did not havea valid work permit. A Hammond Middle School student who had been active in karate until the accident, he won a $600,000 settlement from his employer.

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