PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A search warrant is revealing new clues about possible motivation behind the triple homicide of a baseball player’s family in Pittsylvania County.
That warrant revealed that Matthew Thomas Bernard, who is accused of killing his mother, sister and young nephew, believed he was “operating under a religious motivation,” WDBJ reported.
A youth pastor at the church Bernard and his family attended told police the suspect kept an audio diary that included his thoughts — and things he heard from God — on his phone, according to the warrant.
Bernard’s phone was found near the scene of the triple homicide may contain “information identifying a motive for these shootings,” according to a previously released search warrant.
Bernard is accused of killing 62-year-old Joan Bernard, 25-year-old Emily Bivens, and 14-month-old Cullen Bivens, and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to CNN affiliate WSET.
Emily Bivens and Cullen Bivens are the wife and child of minor league baseball player Blake Bivens.
A state police investigator searched social media and found a post from Bernard indicating he was going through a divorce and to “never underestimate a Bernard,” the warrant says.
Bernard’s father confirmed to investigators the phone belonged to his son, according to the warrant.