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Hempstead man indicted on charges he killed his mother-in-law, DA says

A Hempstead man was indicted Tuesday in connection with the stabbing death of his mother-in-law in her Jamaica, Queens home while her two grandchildren were in the house, prosecutors said.

A grand jury handed up an indictment of John Satchell, 43, of Maple Avenue, who was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise. Prosecutors said he killed Janice Matthews, 66, in her home on 172nd Street on Aug. 21 or Aug. 22.

“The defendant in this case is accused of viciously stabbing to death his long-time mother-in-law and then wrapping her body in some sort of cloth and attempted to hide the woman’s remains in her own basement,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan, in a news release. “This was a heinous, unprovoked attack on a 66-year-old woman. This kind of violence is intolerable, and the defendant now faces the possibility of being locked away for the rest of his days.”

Authorities said that Matthews was stabbed several times with a sharp instrument and that her body was “rolled into a blanket and dragged to the basement and hidden there.” Satchell's two children, Matthews' grandchildren, were in the home at the time, authorities said.

He is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree burglary, concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said. Satchell was being held without bail and is due back in court Dec. 16.

Kevin O’Donnell of Kew Gardens, Satchell’s attorney, said he had been assigned the case recently.

“I have to review the evidence,” he said by telephone. “He’s entered a plea of not guilty and we’re going to fight the charges.”

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