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Man, 19, Who Killed Boyhood Friend Gets 17-Year Sentence

A Thousand Oaks man was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years to life in prison in the murder of a boyhood friend.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Zumwalt imposed the maximum sentence on Roderick Michael Mathewson, 19, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Cyrus Lam.

Mathewson and Lam grew up together in Thousand Oaks. The shooting of Lam, a 19-year-old freshman pre-law major at the University of California, San Diego, apparently was sparked by an argument over a mutual girlfriend.

Lam’s body was found Feb. 2 in a remote northern San Diego canyon.

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In a courtroom plea, the dead man’s mother, Jeanne Luna, asked Zumwalt to impose the harshest sentence allowed because “I have not seen five minutes of remorse” from Mathewson.

“For all the lives . . . touched and all the help that he gave to people, that will never be taken away,” Luna said of her son. “But the pain of losing Cyrus will always be with me and his father.”

Lam’s stepfather, Tony Luna, also urged that Mathewson be jailed for as long as possible to prevent him from killing someone else.

“He’s a cowboy, and he likes guns,” Tony Luna said of Mathewson. “The first time he got ahold of a gun, he killed somebody, and he’ll do it again.”

Defense attorney Deborah Carson said her client was remorseful.

“Rod knows there’s no way anything he says will ever make up to the Lunas for the loss of a son,” she said.

Mathewson was arrested in February at his home in Thousand Oaks. Lam’s car was found about 10 miles away.


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