Salinas man gets 22 years for killing his father

A Salinas man has been sentenced to 22 years in state prison for killing his father last year, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said.

Matthew Roberts, 35, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta on Thursday for his conviction for voluntary manslaughter and financial elder abuse for the death of his father, 69-year-old Jerry Roberts, in February 2015.

Prosecutors said police officers discovered Jerry Roberts' body, which was wrapped in plastic and bed sheets, in a box in a travel trailer in front of his home in the 700 block of Inglewood Drive, just east of Natividad Road, at about 9 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2015.

Officers had responded to the home because Roberts' daughter became concerned when she wasn't able to contact him for more than a week, a period that included his birthday, according to prosecutors.

The investigation led to the arrest of Matthew Robert, who lived with his father, prosecutors said.

Materials that had been used to wrap the father's body matched items that were found in the home where the father and son lived, according to police.

The county medical examiner determined that Jerry Roberts' cause of death was a broken neck and estimated that he had been dead for 7 to 10 days before his body was found, prosecutors said.

In addition, investigators discovered that Matthew Roberts had used his father's truck and withdrawn money from his bank account after he died, according to prosecutors.

The precise circumstances of Jerry Roberts' death are unknown but there were signs of a struggle in the house and his son was the only other person who lived there, prosecutors said.

The fact that Matthew Roberts lied to a family member and police about his father's whereabouts and accessed his bank accounts when his father likely already was dead are additional circumstances that pointed to his culpability for his father's death, according to prosecutors.

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