Co-workers of man accused in assisted-suicide case say they told him his plan was ‘morally wrong’

PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. — Matthew Stubbendieck wasn’t shy about telling others that his Florida girlfriend was coming to Nebraska to commit suicide.

Thursday, another girlfriend and two co-workers said Stubbendieck told them he planned to help Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan kill herself after she arrived.

The two co-workers, William McFadden and Matthew Stephens, testified in court that he told them about obtaining liquid morphine and his “game plan” to inject it into Wilemon-Sullivan. She had told him she had terminal cancer and wished to die.

An autopsy, however, failed to show any signs of cancer, and Stubbendieck’s attorneys have said their client was manipulated by the Florida woman.

Stephens said co-workers had warned Stubbendieck that what he was planning was “morally wrong” and could land him in prison.

But Stephens said Stubbendieck’s response was “he loved her and he was going to do it for her.”

Later, he said Stubbendieck told them there had been “a change of plans” and she had killed herself.

He told authorities that Wilemon-Sullivan had slashed her wrists in a secluded, wooded area after he walked away from her to urinate. He said he stayed with her for several hours as she slashed herself more times, and that he tried twice briefly to suffocate her.

Stubbendieck, 41, said he eventually left the 38-year-old woman and found her dead the next day, Aug. 2.

The second girlfriend, Christine Timbs, testified that she and Stubbendieck were childhood friends who had begun a romantic relationship just before Wilemon-Sullivan was to come to Nebraska.

She said Stubbendieck had texted her that he had something “huge” to take care of before they could move in together.

Stubbendieck, who had moved back to his hometown of Weeping Water a couple months before the suicide, stared quietly ahead during most of Thursday morning’s testimony. He shook his head slightly when one of the co-workers testified.