Man accused of killing pitcher's family has been arraigned

Matthew Bernard was arraigned on three counts of first-degree murder and weapons-related charges.

Associated Press
September 12, 2019 - 6:59 pm

(Kirsten Fiscus/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

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DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Virginia man who police say killed the wife, son and mother-in-law of a minor league baseball pitcher has been formally arraigned.

Officials with the Pittsylvania Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court said by phone Thursday that Matthew Bernard was arraigned on three counts of first-degree murder and weapons-related charges. The 18-year-old is being held in jail without bail.

Authorities say Bernard killed his sister, Emily Marie Bivens, and her 1-year-old son Cullen Bivens, and his mother, Joan Bernard, in late August.

Related: Pitcher: Life 'destroyed' by slayings of wife, son, in-law

Emily Bivens was married to Blake Bivens , a pitcher for the Montgomery Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Cullen Bivens was the couple's 1-year-old child.

Court officials said Bernard's court-appointed attorney is James Martin. He did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.