Laguna Beach Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing His Mother


By Daniel Langhorne, Special to the Independent

Matthew McDonald

A 34-year-old Laguna Beach man who prosecutors allege killed his mother pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge in Orange County Superior Court.

Matthew Bryson McDonald also denied a sentencing enhancement based on an allegation that he personally used a deadly weapon in the slaying of his mother, Megan Estes Hampton, 61.

Authorities allege McDonald killed Hampton inside their home in the Laguna Terrace Park mobile home community in South Laguna on Aug. 18 before fleeing in her car. He was apprehended later that day by Orange County sheriff’s deputies in San Clemente.

McDonald appeared before Commissioner Susan M. Lee on Sept. 6 wearing an orange jumpsuit. He remained silent as he stood in the courtroom’s cage with his hands behind his back.

McDonald is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing at Harbor Justice Center on Nov. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

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