Bedford Co. man pleads guilty to murder, burning the body in 2022 shooting of Tyler Matthai

18 August 2023- Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a Bedford County man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for killing Tyler Matthai last year, then burning his body.

Derek Louk, 30, entered the plea Thursday in Bedford County Court. He also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse.

Louk will serve 15 to 30 years in prison, in accordance with the plea agreement terms.  Bedford County Judge Travis B. Livengood accepted the plea and will formally order his sentence on September 22.

Louk admitted to fatally shooting Matthai on April 26, 2022, then conspiring with two others to burn the body and cover up the crime. Louk has been incarcerated since his arrest.

“The defendant not only pulled the trigger, he then conspired to conceal his horrific crimes by destroying the evidence — the victim’s body,” Attorney General Henry said. “With this plea, he is accepting responsibility for such senseless acts of violence and disregard for human life.”

Courtney S. Boden and Jordon Robertson previously pleaded guilty to assisting in burning the body and the subsequent cover-up. Boden was sentenced to 2¼ to 12 years in prison; Robertson pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.