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A multi-state manhunt is underway for a Texas man who fled while on trial for the murder of his 19-year-old girlfriend on Halloween night in 2020.
Matthew Hoy Edgar, 25, appeared in court for the first two days of the trial in Hemphill, Texas, but was a no-show on the third day, according to KLAS.
Despite his absence, a jury convicted him of the first-degree murder of Livye Lewis on Thursday.
On Friday, he was sentenced to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox said the search for Edgar had “intensified and broadened.”
Multiple agencies including the U.S. Marshals Service and Texas Rangers are searching for Edgar across Texas and western Louisiana.
Police said that they have followed up on dozens of leads but have not been able to locate the fugitive.
Prosecutors said during the trial that Lewis and Edgar were at a party on the night of her death when they argued because she was talking to another man.
Hours later, Lewis’s dead body was found in a vehicle on the side of the road. She had been shot in the neck, according to KTRE.
Edgar was later discovered nearby in a fetal position with blood on him, the station reported.
He was taken to the hospital, but said he only remembered drinking on a front porch and waking up in an ambulance.
During the trial, prosecutors revealed text messages from Edgar’s cell phone.
One said: “I will watch y’all, take y’all with a smile on my face,” according to KTRE.
Later, the man that Lewis was speaking with asked Edgar where she was, and he texted back: “dead.”
Lewis’s heartbroken family wants Edgar captured and behind bars.
“I can’t say that we even got justice because we don’t know where he is. We don’t know what he is doing, or if he will ever be found to get his sentence,” Lewis’s cousin Sydney Ebarb told KTRE. “But I’m glad that the jury did see him guilty, and they did not give him a slap on the wrist.”
She also added: “My aunt has been looking forward to looking him in the eye and give the impact statement. … She didn’t get to do that. We didn’t get to see the look on his face when he was found guilty. We didn’t get to see him leave the courthouse in handcuffs.”
Authorities are warning anyone who spots Edgar not to approach him, but to notify police.
He had been released on a $50,000 bond months prior to the trial.
His released had sparked outrage and protests in the community
Edgar was arrested in November of 2020 and indicted the following March, according to KTRE.
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