Hearing for Matthew Bernard — accused of killing mother, sister, nephew in Pittsylvania Co. — continued until March 2021

Southside Virginia News

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The court hearing has been continued again for a man accused of killing his mother, sister, and nephew in Pittsylvania County in August 2019.

By June 2020, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke announced the cause of death for Joan Bernard and Cullen Bivens to be a rifle wound of the head. The cause of death for Emily Bivens has been determined to be rifle wounds of the head and abdomen.

Matthew Bernard, the brother of Emily Bivens and son of Joan Bernard, is accused of killing the two, along with Emily’s son, Cullen, in August 2019. Search warrants uncovered by WFXR revealed a possible motive in the case.

Matthew Bernard was previously ruled incompetent to stand trial. A court filing stated that he could be rehabilitated to competency “solely on an inpatient basis in a hospital” and stand trial for the murders at a future date.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, WFXR News learned that Matthew Bernard’s preliminary hearing — which was set for Thursday, Oct. 29 — has been continued to March 31, 2021.

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