Man Attacked Two Girlfriends Under Eerily Similar Circumstances — But Only One Survived
“Someone had to die for the truth to be known, and that’s heartbreaking,” says the survivor about her life being turned upside.
A Michigan man appeared to be a loving boyfriend at the start of new relationships, but he turned into a monster prone to fits of drunken rage as time passed, according to one ex-girlfriend.
On March 17, 2017, Matthew Terry and his girlfriend of nearly two years, Michelle Rogers, spent the day celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at local bars in Lansing, Michigan.
Rogers says Terry grew increasingly drunk and became “incoherent” and “stumbling,” so she got fed up and left.
Hours later, Rogers says, Terry returned home and attacked her, pushing her to the ground, punching her and then stabbing her in the throat with a kitchen knife.
Rogers managed to flee the home, but Terry followed her. Neighbors called police after witnessing him continue the brutal assault outside. As Rogers screamed for help, Terry stabbed her multiple times.
“I think he was trying to murder me,” she says. “There is no question.”
Terry then got up and walked back into the couple’s home, one neighbor told an emergency dispatcher.
According to Det. Matt Krumbach of the Lansing Police Department, he and officers responding to the scene were able to take Terry into custody and locate Rogers’ young son safe in bed.
At the time, Krumbach says, Terry was so intoxicated it was impossible for officers to take a statement from him.
Terry initially was charged with assault with intent to commit murder. A jury convicted him, however, of a count of great bodily harm, less than murder, and he was sentenced to up to 10 years in a Michigan prison. He was released on parole in December 2020 after serving his minimum term.
While Rogers would survive her terrifying ordeal, Terry’s next girlfriend wouldn’t be so lucky.
On May 27, 2022, Florida elementary teacher Kay Baker went with Terry to a bar-restaurant to celebrate the end of the schoolyear. During the evening, Terry believed he saw another man dancing with 43-year-old Baker while she was returning from the bathroom, an allegation she denied.
The couple returned to their Lithia home. Shortly after midnight, Baker’s neighbors reported hearing what sounded like a woman crying and struggling to breathe. Baker was found outside her home soaked in blood and suffering what would be a fatal stab wound to her neck.
Officers with a K-9 followed a trail of blood from Baker’s home to nearby woods, where they located Terry lying on the ground and dressed only in a blood-soaked t-shirt and underwear. According to police, he appeared intoxicated, and he was charged with premeditated first-degree murder.
At trial, Terry’s defense lawyers argued Baker was the victim of a home intruder who killed her and then turned the knife on Terry when he gave chase.
Prosecutors countered that a jealous Terry flew into a rage and fatally stabbed Baker because he believed she was dancing with the man at the bar.
While surveillance video recovered from the business does show Baker dancing as she approaches a girlfriend, the man appears only to be passing by when he too throws his arms up in an impromptu dance. He then continues on his way without engaging Baker. At the same time, Terry is exiting the bathroom and can be seen watching the seconds-long incident unfold.
Baker, her friend and Terry then return to their table, where video seemingly shows an apparently agitated Terry confront his girlfriend about the arm-raising “dance” moves.
The friend later told police Baker called her that evening and asked her to tell Terry the incident wasn’t a big deal because he kept bringing it up.
Investigators drew parallels between Baker’s subsequent brutal attack and the one on Terry’s ex-girlfriend, noting Terry was intoxicated during both incidents and stabbed each woman in the neck with kitchen knives.
“One person has Kay Baker’s blood on his hands both literally and figuratively,” Assistant State Attorney Justin Diaz said during closing arguments at Terry’s November 2022 trial for her killing, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A Hillsborough County jury found Terry, now 48, guilty of Baker’s first-degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison. He is currently appealing his case.
“The verdict in his trial and the sentencing gives you a lot of feelings, especially since someone had to die for the truth to be known,” says Rogers, Terry’s ex-girlfriend, “and that’s heartbreaking.”
For more on this case, stream American Monster: “Screaming Bloody Murder” on Max.
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