The Mount Pleasant teen who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Matthew Fischer was charged in the death of Lucas Cavanaugh.
Investigators say the two teens got into a fight after trading messages on iPods on January 18, 2015. They say the two were fighting over a girl.
Fischer’s sentencing hearing took place in a Charleston County courtroom on Wednesday morning.
"Luke is gone. And the last thing he saw was his own intestines on the asphalt as he got stabbed in his stomach," said Dirk Cavanaugh, the younger brother of the victim,
He and other family members and friends of Lucas Cavanaugh offered sometimes graphic, but heartfelt words as they addressed a judge, and the young man who admitted killing Lucas.
"Luke would have turned twenty on Thanksgiving Day. There are no words that can describe the loss my family and I have endured since Luke was violently taken from us," said Beth Cavanaugh, the victim’s mother.
Impact statements were aimed at Matthew Fischer, the Wando High School classmate of Cavanaugh who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in his stabbing death.
"The center of attention is missing. The foil which we bounce ideas off of he's not here anymore. He's now five pounds of dust on our mantle," said David Cavanaugh, the victim’s father.
Defense attorneys argued for a lesser sentence because Fischer has mental illness. They contend he used a knife inappropriately to defend himself during a teenage fight with Lucas Cavanaugh. Fischer's family tearfully apologized for the tragedy.
"From us and Matt..... I would like to convey to you how incredibly sorry we are," said Joey Fischer as he choked back emotions. He’s the defendant’s father.
With tears in his eyes, Fischer spoke softly.
“I’m sorry. I live with this everyday. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I can say,” he said.
Then, Judge Markley Dennis sentenced him to prison.
"That means you have hanging over your head 15 years," Judge Dennis said.
Punishment for a deadly incident affecting numerous families for decades to come.
Judge Dennis said Matt Fischer won't get credit for his 33 months of a home sentence while he was out on bond. And he must serve 85-percent of his prison time. When he's released, he'll be on probation for 2 years.