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Man accused of killing mother in Castle Rock pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 07:43:15-04

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The man accused of killing his mother at a home in Castle Rock in 2022 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Monday.

Matthew Buchanan, 34, was arrested in Florida and extradited back to Douglas County a couple of weeks after the April 26. 2022 fatal stabbing of his mother, 59-year-old Elizabeth Bjorlow.

The victim's body was found after crews responded to a house fire in the Terrain neighborhood of Castle Rock. The investigation revealed she had suffered trauma to her face, head and hands. Investigators noted that her clothes appeared to have been set on fire and were partially burned.

Court records showed Bjorlow had been granted a permanent protection order against Buchanan.

Buchanan also pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit murder in the first-degree and criminal attempt to commit aggravated cruelty to animals.

“It’s despicable to learn a son would kill his own mother in a brutal act of violence,” District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement. “This plea avoids a lengthy, gruesome, and emotional trial. I’m advocating for the maximum sentence under Colorado law to protect the community from this defendant.”

Buchanan will be sentenced July 24. He faces up to 48 years in prison.

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