Police release more info in widow's death

Matthew Hagert Salentine

June 28, 2010 8:07:15 AM PDT
Police say the preliminary cause of death of a Smithfield woman, who was found dead in her home Thursday, is blunt force trauma.

Police arrested 34-year-old Matthew Hagert Salentine Friday and charged him with first-degree murder, armed robbery, first-degree burglary and uttering forged instruments. He is being held without bond.

Salentine is a suspect in the death of his neighbor, 74-year-old Patricia Stevens. Investigators apprehended Salentine after discovering suspicious activity with Stevens' bank account.

Stevens was the widow of well-known Smithfield attorney Austin Stevens who passed away in 2005. Salentine is expected to make his first court appearance today.

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