Trial begins for Bowie County man accused of girlfriend’s murder

Trial begins for Toddrick Matthews

BOWIE COUNTY, TEXAS (KSLA) - After nearly five years, a Bowie County man is going to trial for the death of his former girlfriend.

Toddrick Matthews, 40, is charged with murder in the case of Sonjha banks. He has been in jail since his arrest last May.

It was standing room only on Wednesday as Matthews murder trial began in Bowie County

"Justice for Sonjha," said Pat Hubbard, a cousin. "We knew this day was coming and he will get what he deserves."

It was an emotional day for Banks' family, but they say they are glad to see this day come.

"I'm very, very happy that this finally came to trial so we can get this behind us so everybody kind of so she can rest in peace and we can hrest in peace," said Sonjha's mother Alice Runnells.

In September of 2013 police and fire was called to a Hooks Texas home by 40 year-old Toddrick Matthews. When emergency crews arrived they found Sonjha Banks dead in a bathtub inside the residence.

Following a lengthy investigation Matthews was arrested in May of 2018 and charged with murder in the case. Investigators said Matthews was always a suspect in the death.

It has been hard on this family these last five years but we never did give up hope and I speak for everybody, the whole family and friends, we just had to be patient," Sonjha’s sister Kathy Runnells said.

If found guilty, Matthews could receive a life in prison sentence.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.