Ohio woman gets life in prison for drowning 93-year-old grandmother in kitchen sink

Dayton-area woman pleads guilty to drowning 93-year-old grandmother in sink
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:58 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EATON, OHIO (WXIX) - An Ohio woman who pleaded guilty to murdering her 93-year-old grandmother by drowning her in the kitchen sink was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday.

Heidi Matheny, 35, will be eligible for parole after 15 years under the state’s mandatory sentencing guidelines.

Matheny told police she drowned her grandmother, Alice J. Matheny, in a kitchen sink of soapy water as the elderly woman washed dishes inside their suburban Eaton apartment on Nov. 22, 2022, police and court records show.

She climbed out the window afterward and walked to the jail, where she announced she was turning herself in for killing her grandmother, Eaton police wrote in the report.

“I just lost my s---. It’s nothing that she did. She’s not, she’s a perfect freaking grandma,” she told a detective, according to the report.

Matheny has been held in lieu of a $500,000 bond at the Preble County Jail since her arrest in November. It was not immediately clear Wednesday when she would be moved to state prison, or which one.

Her attorney wrote in pre-sentencing court documents that Matheny took responsibility for doing “the unthinkable” since the day it happened, is the one who reported it to law enforcement, and “snapped” under pressure trying to care for her elderly grandmother.

“Mrs. Matheny has a long history of mental illness and instability. She confessed to law enforcement she just “snapped” under the pressure of trying to care for the victim, whom she described as the perfect grandmother,” the report states.

“Mrs. Matheny had an increasingly difficult time listening to the grandmother lament about the stress caused by the family arguing over financial issues and other concerns. It appears that this pressure/stress felt by Mrs. Matheny when listening to these things, coupled with her mental illness(es), resulted in the unthinkable. Mrs. Matheny has expressed nothing but remorse for her actions since the onset of this case. Therefore, the Defendant respectfully requests that this Honorable Court sentence her to the only option available.”

Matheny’s arrest report has graphic details of her confession to the police.

A detective wrote: “She stated she held her head in the sink until she stopped blowing bubbles. Then she drug her to the couch. She started blowing bubbles so she put her in the bathtub until she stopped.”

She told the detective her grandmother “needs to be in a nursing home but they cannot afford it.” She said her grandmother was stressed out and had panic attacks almost every day: “She shouldn’t have to live like that,” the report states.

She said she had grandmother by the hair and told the detective “she struggling, she was strong.”

The detective asked her if she was able to overpower the older woman even though she was struggling.

“She said yes,” the report states.

The detective asked Matheny what her thought process was at that time, “maybe we could stop this.

She said ‘no, she wanted her to be at rest.’”

He clarified and asked her if it was her “intention to keep doing what you have been doing even though she could still be alive. She said yes.”

He also asked her if her grandmother was breathing or moving at that point.

Matheny responded, “No, just bubbles coming out.”

She explained then, the report continues, that she filled the bathtub and drug her grandmother into the bathroom. She removed her clothes, placed her in the bathtub and held her underwater for 15 minutes.

“She was face up so she was pushing her down by the chest. She said she kept floating back up to the top, so she rolled her over. Face down. Then she left. She went out through the window. She didn’t want the neighbors to see her.”

The detective asked her “if she planned this,” the report reads.

“She said no but they did discuss this before. Whenever her grandmother was manic she would tell Matheny to just kill her. She said we all say this.”

Heidi Matheny faces 15 to life when she is sentenced for killing her 93-year-old grandmother...
Heidi Matheny faces 15 to life when she is sentenced for killing her 93-year-old grandmother last year.(Preble County Sheriff's Office)

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it and include the headline of the story in your email.

Do you have a photo or video of a breaking news story? Send it to us here with a brief description.