Perry man convicted of killing wife 10 days after marriage gets life in prison

A Houston County judge sentenced a Perry man who stabbed his wife nine times just days after their marriage in 2022 to life in prison with the possibility of parole Monday, officials said.

The sentencing comes after a jury took just 15 minutes to convict Matthew Jamal Kendrick, 24, of felony murder on Aug. 11 for killing his wife in January of 2022, according to a press release from Houston County District Attorney William Kendall.

Kendall and other prosecutors wanted a sentence of life without the possibility of parole due to the “heinous nature of the killing,” the release said, but Houston County Superior Court judge Bo Adams chose to make Kendrick eligible for parole.

Kendrick killed his wife, Shateria Watkins, over an argument when he stabbed her nine times in a parked car last year, the DA’s office said. Watkins was 20 years old.

The trial that concluded earlier this month saw attorneys present evidence that Kendrick had his wife’s blood on his hands when he was taken into custody after he called police confessing to the crime, the release said. The couple had been married for just 10 days.

Attorneys also talked about a separate incident where Kendrick shot at Watkins five months earlier.

Kendrick will be eligible for parole after 30 years in prison.