RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The uproar over Gov. Ralph Northam’s recent decision to pardon a Colonial Heights woman convicted of murder continues. A Virginia mother told WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, that the pardon system makes no sense and she wants officials to be held accountable. Her frustration comes after her son, who is behind bars for a lesser crime, was denied a conditional pardon.
“It’s not justice and our justice system truly needs to be revamped,” said King George resident Gail Dietz.
Dietz says her son, 44-year-old Matthew Mosher, committed a crime when he was hooked on opioids and not in his right mind.
She thinks it’s unfair that Margaret Blair Dacey, who was imprisoned for the 2013 murder of Rusty Mack in Colonial Heights, is about to walk free.
According to Dietz, Mosher never physically harmed anyone, is now clean, and has served most of his time. However, he is still in the Haynesville Correctional Center after his 2020 request for a conditional pardon was denied.
“Mosher led police on a chase. He committed the crimes using an unloaded bb gun,” Dietz said. “Under mandatory sentencing guidelines, he was sent to prison for 10 years.”
She says he only has one year left on a 10-year sentence and is very remorseful for what he has done.
“I don’t understand how someone can murder someone, take a life from a loved one and a family and be pardoned,” Dietz said. “After only seven years — not even half her sentence has been served?”
Mosher is a veteran who served nine years in the Coast Guard. During his service, he helped out during Hurricane Katrina and after 9/11.
“He served at 9/11 in New York sifting through the dust and installation and everything for body parts,” Dietz said.
Mosher reportedly injured his back in a boating accident while in service. According to his mother, a doctor prescribed him oxycontin for his injuries and he became addicted.
“His addiction just grew — and grew to heroin — and he robbed two convenience stores,” Dietz said.
Mosher also has medical issues, his mother says. He has one good lung and is believed to be suffering conditions from his work during 9/11.
Dietz says that her son is taking computer courses, has graduated from several prison rehabilitation programs, and wants to counsel other veterans like him. She says he also wants to get back to his two young sons.
“He is clean,” said Dietz. “He has completely changed since he’s been in there and off the drugs.”
Northam has said there are still some pardons his office is looking at before his term ends. WFXR’s sister station reached out to the governor’s office and the Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson, but has yet to hear back.