PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. — For helping his Florida girlfriend commit suicide, 42-year-old Matthew Stubbendieck was sentenced to 25 days in jail and four years of probation.
Cass County District Judge Michael Smith handed down the sentence Monday.
In April, a jury found Stubbendieck, who grew up and lives in Weeping Water, guilty of helping 38-year-old Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan commit suicide last August at a rock quarry lake near the Cass County community.
Wilemon-Sullivan, whom Stubbendieck met while living in Florida, had convinced him that she was suffering from terminal cancer, and was soon to die.
But an autopsy showed no signs of cancer, and Wilemon-Sullivan’s ex-husband told authorities that his ex-wife wasn’t always truthful.
Wilemon-Sullivan, a divorced mother of four, took a flight to Nebraska with the goal of ending her life.
She and Stubbendieck first visited Schramm Park State Recreation Area but left after seeing workers. Then they drove to the rock quarry near Weeping Water where Wilemon-Sullivan, lying on a blanket, cut herself after Stubbendieck had walked away to urinate.
Over several hours, the girlfriend continued to cut herself. After seven hours, Stubbendieck left her to die. The next day, he returned to find her dead.
Stubbendieck told authorities that Wilemon-Sullivan had texted him photos of supposed cancer surgery scars and claimed she had tried radiation treatments but that they were unsuccessful. She insisted that he give her “agape” love — the purest form — and allow her to die in his arms.
The judge said Stubbendieck must spend five days in jail now and five days every year around the time of the suicide until his term is completed.
The judge said he could have sentenced Stubbendieck to two years, which is the maximum prison term allowed for the offense. But because Stubbendieck already had served 114 days in jail, the maximum sentence, with good time, would have amounted to only eight months behind bars.
The judge said he found that “unsatisfactory.”