Grand jury indicts Long Island man for murder of mother-in-law in Jamaica

John Satchell was indicted on charges alleging that he stabbed his mother-in-law to death at her Jamaica home.  Eagle  file photo by David Brand.

John Satchell was indicted on charges alleging that he stabbed his mother-in-law to death at her Jamaica home. Eagle file photo by David Brand.

By Jonathan Sperling

A Long Island man accused of stabbing his mother-in-law to death while his two children were home was indicted earlier this week.

John Satchell, 43, was arrested on Tuesday, more than a month after investigators say he stabbed to death Janice Matthews, 66, and attempted to hide her body in the basement of her 172nd Street home. Satchell was arraigned before Justice Michael Aloise on an indictment charging him with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree burglary, concealment of a human corpse, evidence tampering and endangering the welfare of a child. 

If convicted of the charges, Satchell faces up to 25 years to life in prison. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2019.

“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 clothe [sic] and attempted to hide the woman’s remains in her own basement,” Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said in a statement.

“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.” 

Investigators believe that some time between Aug. 21 and Aug. 22, 2019, Satchell stabbed Matthews with a sharp instrument. The woman’s body was rolled into a blanket and dragged to the basement and hidden there.The defendant’s two children — who had been placed in the custody of the victim — were in the home when their grandmother was killed.

Police from the 113th Precinct discovered Matthews’ body on Aug. 22 and EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.