Iron Coffin Denied Bail Again

December 21, 2015

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Iron Coffin Denied Bail Again

Iron Coffins Motorcycle Club member Matthew Starkweather will be stuck in jail this Christmas.

Starkweather is accused, for the second time, of the homicide of former Battle Creek, Michigan chapter president Lee J. “Leeroy” Taylor on New Year’s Day 2012. Starkweather and two witnesses have all stated that Starkweather acted in self defense after Taylor attacked Starkweather with a collapsible baton and stabbed Starkweather in the neck with a belt buckle knife. The fight, over a $2,500 debt, occurred in the Iron Coffins’ Battle Creek clubhouse after a holiday party.

In addition to Starkweather and Taylor, two other club members were in the clubhouse at the time. When Starkweather called for help, patch holders John Lindahl III and Mario “Paco” Barroso came to his aid. According to multiple statements, Barroso handed Lindahl a shotgun and Lindahl used the butt of the weapon to beat Taylor until he stopped attacking Starkweather.

All three men were eventually charged with Taylor’s death. Barroso agreed to testify against Starkweather and Lindahl in return for a reduced sentence but his testimony did not support a murder case and the charges against all three men were dismissed in July 2012.

New Prosecutor

A new prosecutor named David Gilbert was elected four months later and in December 2014 he decided to reopen the case. Barroso, who is 67, was arrested last March and charged with murder. In August he agreed to plead no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to serve between 71 and 180 months in prison. The Calhoun County Probation Department had recommended a sentence of 38 months.

Gilbert recharged Starkweather with murder next.

Starkweather faces life in prison. When he was arraigned in October, Starkweather’s attorney asked that Starkweather be granted bail. Starkweather has already spent 261 days behind bars after his two arrests in the case. He has no other arrest record. He has been gainfully employed and he didn’t try to flee while he was free. But the arraigning judge, a man named Frank Line, agreed with the prosecutor that Starkweather was a flight risk and a danger to the community and refused to grant bail.

Trial In January

Starkweather’s lawyer, J. Thomas Schaeffer, made the same argument again last Wednesday but a judge named Allen Garbrecht refused to grant bail.

Gilbert told the judge, “He said he killed him. He admitted he killed. This is a man who beat someone to death because he owned him money. This is a dangerous individual and he should not be released on bond.” The judge agreed.

Judge Garbrecht will preside over Starkweather’s trial which is scheduled to begin on January 12.


7 Responses to “Iron Coffin Denied Bail Again”

  1. Tom Starkweather Says:

    Here is the last “news” article about my son Matt.
    Basically the prosecutor is using information he gained while he was a defense attorney in this same case in 2012 to now prosecute Matthew. The motion to recuse Gilbert continues this Friday 2-12-16. The last prosecutor lost his job when this case was dismissed back in 2012 for misconduct. Funny thing is he now has to testify about his inactions. This is not justice in any sense of the word. All Gilbert wants is his name in the paper so he can become a judge.

  2. Mad Dog Says:


    Unfortunately, there’s too much truth in what you said.

  3. bmw Says:

    I guess that the persecuting attorney is looking for fodder for his next election! Modern persecutors no longer believe in the old rule that their job is achieving justice. Now the entire job consists of achieving as many convictions and as long sentences as they can in order to move up to the crooked judgeships, federal or state.



  4. swampy Says:

    More corrupt career politicians running the Judicial system. I wish the Starkweather Family find some solace during this time. With the highest regards and respect to the 93. swampy

  5. FF Says:

    David Gilbert, may karma come down hard on you and your whole fucking family this joyous, holiday season. Fuck you

  6. Phuquehed Says:

    It sucks that the air-wasting persecutor(s) can just keep trying a person over and over and over. Unbelievable that there’s nothing against the law about *that*.

  7. Sieg Says:

    Total bullshit. NO ONE should be in jail because of this. Straight self-defense.

    FTF / FTP

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