BOWIE COUNTY, TEXAS (KSLA) - Tears of joy and relief for family members of Sonjha Banks while leaving a Bowie County court this morning.
A jury decided that Toddrick Matthews, Jr. was responsible for the death of Sonjha five years ago. Around 4:30 p.m. officials announced that Matthews would spend the rest of his life in prison.
"I feel elated, relieved," said Olandis Lewis, Sonjha's cousin. "It has been a long time coming but we survived and hey, we got what we needed for some form of closure. Not all, but some."
In September of 2013 police and fire were 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 long 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 took the jury more than five hours of deliberation before finding Matthews guilty of murder.
While Banks' family celebrate the verdict family members of Toddrick Matthews still had questions remaining.
"I don't think my son done it," said Toddrick Matthews, Sr. "But the jury ruled and we got to live with that comment."
Toddrick Sr. and other family members were on hand for the entire three day trial. He added there were no winners in today's verdict.
“The girl who lost her life, her family can’t be a winner because somebody lost their life,” Toddrick Sr. said. “We lost our son too, because he’s going to prison. So the verdict - it’s a no win situation.”