Irving gets maximum sentence for murder

A Marshalltown man found guilty of second-degree murder was sentenced to 50 years in state prison and ordered to pay a $150,000 victim restitution fine.

Mathew Irving, 40, was charged with first-degree murder after the body of Rebecca Hall, of Marshalltown, was discovered in an abandoned car east of Marshalltown on July 14, 2013.

Several of Hall’s family were present during Irving’s sentencing.

Hall’s son and Ron Cook, her brother, took the stand to share a victim impact statement.

“I and my family listened to several witnesses say how she died,” Cook said. “Killing our sister wasn’t good enough, he had to torture us with trial … Mathew Irving is a thief, he steals the truth and he stole a life. Sentence this animal to the maximum.”

He raised his voice.

“Mathew Irving,” Cook said. “Our God is not done with you, he’s just warming up.”

In a jury trial last month, Irving confessed to putting his hands on Hall’s neck during an altercation and fleeing to the scene after he knew she was dead.

Prior to the jury trial, Irving testified that although he had thought about killing Hall, he acted in self-defense the night Hall died. Irving said Hall violently attacked him after a failed sexual encounter at a county park.

Irving became acquainted with Hall through his wife, Shawn. The two women ran a Dumpster diving business, he said.

The relationship became complicated when Hall began spreading rumors about Shawn’s infidelity and gambling problems, Irving said. Meanwhile, Hall and Irving began exchanging text messages and developing a sexually charged relationship.

The night Hall died, Irving dressed in black and walked 13 blocks to Hall’s home, he said at the jury trial, in hopes of getting high and having sex.

The two traveled together in a van to Nicholas-Ford Park where they became sexually intimate, Irving said. Hall was killed during an altercation that ensued.

A state medical examiner testified that Hall was smothered to death, and may have suffocated for up to two minutes before she died.

Marshall County Attorney Jennifer Miller said because of the aggravated circumstances that Hall’s death was neither quick nor painless and Irving showed no remorse, he should get the maximum sentence.

Before being sentenced Irving stood and apologized to the judge.

“I couldn’t be more sorry,” he said. “I feel terrible for what happened that night, I’m sorry.”

After hearing his sentencing, Halls’s family hugged each other and attorneys.

“It’s over,” Cook said. “Justice was served. It’s not what we wanted but it’s the maximum.”

Irving must serve 70 percent of his time before he is eligible for parole.