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Man convicted in 2019 kidnapping, death of woman in Nevada

A Pennsylvania man was convicted in the 2019 kidnapping and death of a woman whom he lured into traveling with him to Southern Nevada and later tied her to a signpost, taped her mouth and nose and watched her die from asphyxiation.

John Matthew Chapman, 44, was found guilty by a jury Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas of one count of kidnapping resulting in death. He is set to be sentenced on Aug. 24, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Chapman faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, prosecutors stated in a news release.

Based on court documents and evidence presented during Chapman’s eight-day trial, on Nov. 14, 2019, police in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, conducted a welfare check on the victim at the request of a friend, according to prosecutors.

The friend had not seen the victim for about two months but had observed a man they believed to be her boyfriend, Chapman, entering and leaving the victim’s home, prosecutors said.

While searching the victim’s residence, “officers found identification cards with Chapman’s name and photograph, the victim’s cellular telephone, multiple zip ties, and a roll of duct tape,” prosecutors said in the release.

Detectives arrested Chapman the following day, and during an interview, he admitted to driving the victim from Bethel Park to Las Vegas and misleading her into believing the trip was a vacation and that they might buy a residence in Las Vegas, according to prosecutors.

“Chapman, however, had planned to kill the victim before their departure to Nevada,” prosecutors stated in the release.

Chapman admitted to investigators that he drove the victim to the desert in Lincoln County and under the pretext of a bondage photo shoot, bound the victim’s hands and feet with plastic zip ties and tied her to a signpost.

“Then he applied duct tape to her mouth and nose and watched her die from asphyxiation,” prosecutors stated.

The joint investigation, involving the FBI in Las Vegas, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Bethel Park police, found that Chapman had returned to Pennsylvania and posed as the victim, including using her Facebook messenger account, living in her residence and using her money after her death, they said.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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