PLATTSMOUTH, Neb.— A judge on Tuesday set bail at $50,000 for a Nebraska man facing a felony charge in connection with the assisted-suicide death of his Florida girlfriend.
Matthew Stubbendieck, 41, of Weeping Water, would have to post $5,000 to be released from jail.
Stubbendieck has been charged with helping Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan, 38, to commit suicide. Officials think Wilemon-Sullivan died Aug. 1, but she was found Aug. 5 in a rural area near Weeping Water.
Richard Fedde, deputy county attorney for Cass County, told Cass County Judge John Steinheider that he wanted Stubbendieck to be held on $250,000 bail because the father of two of Wilemon-Sullivan’s children was afraid Stubbendieck would return to Florida. Fedde said Stubbendieck had told the Florida man he wanted to help raise his late girlfriend’s children.
Wilemon-Sullivan was a mother of four who most recently lived in Orange City, Florida.
Stubbendieck, who was wearing an orange Cass County Jail jumpsuit in court Tuesday morning, told the judge that he didn’t run when he was under investigation in Wilemon-Sullivan’s death.
Stubbendieck said he had been living in Florida for about 15 years but moved back to Weeping Water a few months ago because his father was sick.
“I’m not going nowhere,” he told the judge. “I’d just like to go home and spend this last time with my father before he goes. I haven’t run. I’m not going to go anywhere.”
Stubbendieck told authorities that he believed Wilemon-Sullivan was dying of terminal cancer. He said he helped her find a place where she could die as she told him she wished — in his arms.
He said he watched her cut her wrists over a period of seven hours. He said he twice had tried to suffocate her, but could not go through with it.
An autopsy, noting the decomposed state of Wilemon-Sullivan’s body, could not conclusively say what role, if any, attempted suffocation might have played in her death. Nor could it conclusively say whether she had cancer.
Stubbendieck said Tuesday that he had no job and no income. The judge appointed him a public defender.
Stubbendieck’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.