DRAYTON, N.D. — The 40-year-old Drayton man accused of manslaughter in an alleged terrorizing incident that led to a woman being hit and killed by a car in Pembina County was found dead Monday morning, Aug. 19, the Pembina County Sheriff's Office has confirmed.
Police got a call around 9:30 a.m. reporting that Matthew Hilton was found dead in his mother's Drayton home in an apparent suicide, according to the sheriff's office. His exact cause of death had not yet been determined Monday.
Hilton was arrested on a terrorizing charge in May in connection to an incident where police say he pointed a rifle at a passing car outside his home in Drayton, frightening the driver and causing him to hit and kill Kammi Leland, 44, of Portland, N.D.
According to documents filed in Pembina County District Court, the driver ducked and swerved when he saw Hilton pointing the gun in the direction of the car. Hilton told police he waved the rifle because people were doing donuts and burnouts in his yard.
Hilton, who was also charged with manslaughter and faced up to 20 years in prison, was released from Pembina County Jail soon after being arrested, but just days later attempted suicide while drinking, according to a bench warrant request issued by authorities who said Hilton violated pre-trial release conditions.
Hilton appeared in Pembina County District Court on Aug. 9 where 70 new pages of evidence were introduced in the case. He wasn't set to appear in court again until November. At the time, Leland's family members, many of whom came from as far away as the Bismarck area to sit in on court proceedings, expressed frustration at delays in the case.