By Associated Press - Thursday, November 14, 2019

CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio man has been sentenced to death for fatally shooting his girlfriend’s teenage son and daughter.

Prosecutors say Matthew Nicholson shot 19-year-old Giselle Lopez and 17-year-old Manuel Lopez in front of their mother after a heated argument with her in September 2018 at a home in the Cleveland suburb of Garfield Heights. reports that Nicholson testified he shot the teens in self-defense after they retrieved a gun and he feared they were going to shoot him. Authorities say the teens were shot in the back.

Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy McCormick sentenced the 30-year-old Nicholson on Wednesday, calling him a coward.

Nicholson didn’t speak at the sentencing. Messages seeking comment were left with his lawyers.

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