HEMPHILL, Texas (KTRE) - An East Texas man is out of jail Thursday, just a few months after he was accused of murdering a teenage girl.
19-year-old Livye Lewis was found dead Halloween morning. The reason for her killing is still not known. Now, accused murderer Matthew Hoy Edgar was granted a $50,000 bond and is out of jail. In Sabine County, family and friends held signs while chanting, “justice for Livye Lewis”.
“Everybody ... they loved Livye. Everybody loved Livye,” said Janice Lewis, Livye’s grandmother.
“There was no reason for her to be taken from us or taken from this world. We needed her in this world. For what reason was she taken? I just want to know what happened to my daughter. I just want the detectives to be able to tell me what happened to my daughter and it make sense,” said Darci Bass, Livye’s mother.
Bass says they want justice to be served.
According to Sabine county DA J. Kevin Dutton, the office has expressed dissatisfaction with Edgar’s release, but agreed that the judge was simply following the law and its recent changes due to COVID-19.
In legal terms, state law requires a person to be indicated within 90 days of arrest. Due to issues in the investigation, and restrictions placed on the courts due to COVID-19 restrictions on expanding jurisdiction.
Bass says the community and her family are upset. They started a petition and are asking people to sign it, in order to revoke or raise Edgar’s bond.
“He is a danger to society because there is not anything that Livye did to deserve this. There is no reason. There is no excuse. She was no threat to anyone. We just want this place to be safe,” Bass added. “For my son to go to school and not have to worry about seeing him or hearing these things that people are saying when they see him. We are going to get as many signatures as we need, and we are going to appeal the court. We will never stop. We will never stop.
Bass says people can donate to the Livye Lewis Memorial Scholarship. So far, they’ve raised $8,000.
According the family, Sabine County or Sabine Parish students are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
“No matter the outcome, we’ll never get our baby back. We will never get to see Livye again. She was an amazing young lady. She had blossomed into the sweetest, smartest person,” Lewis expressed.
The Sabine county DA’s office says they have requested a speedy trial for this case. The court has set an expedited court date of July 12, 2021.