Matthew Scott Sullivan will be sentenced Nov. 13 for fatally stabbing his wife in Point Loma, a judge ruled Sept. 18 after he denied his motion for a new trial.
Sullivan, 35, was convicted by a jury March 13 of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Elizabeth Sullivan, 32, who was found in San Diego Bay not far from where the couple lived.
The courts are mostly closed now but they should be open by Nov. 13. Sullivan, wearing a mask, appeared on a video screen from jail, and the attorneys appeared remotely from other locations.
His attorney, Marcus DeBose, said Sullivan wanted to be personally present for his sentencing. Currently, almost all court matters for people who are in jail are conducted remotely via video screens.
DeBose presented a lengthy motion before San Diego Superior Court Albert Harutunian III on numerous grounds for a new trial, including a request to interview jurors about their verdict.
Harutunian ruled that DeBose had not shown a basis to unseal confidential juror information.
DeBose alleged misconduct on the part of Deputy District Attorney Jill Lindberg in not turning over some information until after the murder trial started on Feb. 21.
DeBose said info about the name of the person who bought a Volvo that Elizabeth Sullivan had access to was not turned over to him until the trial had started. He said it was important because the victim “could have used” the vehicle before she disappeared in 2014.
Lindberg told the judge the name of the person who bought the car was not relevant to the case, but she obtained the information after DeBose made reference to it at the start of the trial.
The prosecutor said once her office discovered the buyer’s name, it was turned over to DeBose the very same day. “We weren’t hiding anything,” said Lindberg.
Harutunian said this information was “not exoneration evidence” and denied the motion for a new trial on all grounds.
Sullivan did not testify about the slaying of his wife who was found dead Oct. 4, 2016. She disappeared in October 2014 and the body was found two years later on the same day her husband and children moved to Delaware.
The couple got married in 2010 and Sullivan worked for the Navy. He was honorably discharged. The couple’s children are being raised by their maternal grandparents.