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Shasta County man sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

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Matthew Hartman mug shot

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - The Shasta County District Attorney's Office announced that Matthew Hartman was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Charles Sweetwood.

Hartman’s sentencing comes after a Shasta County jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and related charges in June, the DA’s office said.

Several surviving family members of Charles Sweetwood attended the sentencing hearing and submitted personal statements to the court about how his murder has impacted their lives for more than a decade. Since the day of the murder, the victim’s daughter Rachael Haner stayed diligent in the hope of finding her father’s killer.

Mrs. Haner attended every day of the 7-week jury trial. After the jury reached a verdict, Mrs. Haner and her family were present for the reading of the verdict, the DA’s office said.

The lead investigator on this case was retired Redding Police Detective Rusty Bishop. The case continued to be investigated up to and through the jury trial by Redding Police Detective Travis Braud. The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafel. The victims and witnesses in this case were supported by Shasta County Victim Advocate Hillary Pursell, the DA’s office said.

The DA’s office also said on Aug. 8, Carllen  Annette Honaker was sentenced to 14 years and 8 months in prison for her involvement in the 2013 cold case murder of Charles Sweetwood. 

Honaker was the co-defendant in the Matthew Hartman case. Several family members of the victim made statements during the sentencing and forgave Honaker in court. Honaker also apologized to the family during the sentencing.


On May 1, 2013, Charles Sweetwood picked up his prescription medications (over 300 pills) from a local pharmacy. The defendant, Matthew Hartman, and his accomplice were aware of this fact and planned to rob Mr. Sweetwood of his pills.

Hartman had a strong hatred for the victim and planned to humiliate Mr. Sweetwood, while he was being robbed. On May 1, contrary to that pre-made plan, Matthew Hartman entered the victim’s apartment, located Mr. Sweetwood in the bathroom, and executed him. On May 7, 2013, Mr. Sweetwood was found by his daughter on his bathroom floor. He had a single gunshot to the back of his head, the DA’s office said.

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