MALMO, Neb. (TCD) -- A man was recently found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his 27-year-old fiancée in their home while her two children were sleeping.
According to KETV-TV, on July 15, 2020, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the victim’s 11-year-old son called 911 after discovering his deceased mother, Kayla Matulka. Upon further investigation, authorities concluded Matulka’s fiancé, Kolton Barnes, fatally stabbed Matulka and killed the family dog before leaving the residence.
During the trial, Barnes reportedly said the stabbing was an act of self-defense after his fiancée returned home from a bar and attacked him with a knife. Barnes told the jury he entered the bedroom and saw his dog on the floor, and in the light of the television, he saw his fiancée armed with a knife, the Lincoln Journal Star says. Barnes told the jury they struggled, fell to the floor, and he ended up on top of her with the knife in her chest.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, on the prosecution’s side, the state said Matulka told Barnes their relationship was over, and she ordered him not to come home. Barnes reportedly sent threatening texts and forced his way into the house.
Nebraska Attorney General Sandra Allen told the jury Matulka was found naked on the floor with one of her wrists restrained. She reportedly had a black eye along with bruises on her elbow, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. Allen added, "He beat her, he strangled her, and he stabbed her." Matulka was reportedly beaten at least 27 times.