- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire man killed his parents and burned down their house after they discovered he had been stealing his father’s rare stamps, prosecutors said Thursday as a judge handed down a sentence of 60 years to life in prison.

Matthew Dion pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder for killing Robert Dion, 71, and Constance Dion, 67. He admitted beating his parents and strangling them with a wire in March 2014, then setting their Manchester home on fire several days later before fleeing to Florida.

Prosecutors said in court that Dion sent them a letter while he was on the run, confessing to killing his parents and threatening to commit suicide, according to WMUR-TV (http://bit.ly/1XCnQ5c).

They also said he had been living at home at the time of the murders, stealing stamps from his father and selling them in Boston. They believe Dion killed his father, a retired postmaster, after he was confronted about the stamps and then killed his mother.

“He told everyone that he was working,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said. “He wasn’t working. In fact, didn’t have a job. He was experiencing some pain in medical issues. He had some relationship issues, and it looks like all that came to a head.”

Dion was placed on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted list in April 2014 and two months later was arrested at a hotel in Orange Park, Florida, after a media campaign generated key tips.

His former fiancee, the mother of his 4-year-old son, said she went from loving Dion to hating him.

“I cannot imagine how terrified, how much pain your parents must have felt, to know that you’re going to die at the hands of someone you loved unconditionally,” Pam Focosi sad in court Thursday, according to WMUR.

Under the terms of a plea deal, the 40-year-old Dion was sentenced to 30 years to life for each killing; the sentences will run consecutively. Dion also pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 15 years on that charge, to be served at the same time as the murder sentences.

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