A young Santa Fe man who told police he stabbed his friend to death while under the influence of LSD in 2020 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday and was sent to prison for six years.
State District Judge T. Glenn Ellington sentenced 19-year-old Matthias Hutt to 15 years in prison after accepting his plea Tuesday. He suspended nine years of the sentence in favor of probation, per Hutt’s plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.
Hutt’s victim, Aiko Perez, was a recent high school graduate who was 17 when he was killed.
The youths spent Perez’s last night alive ingesting large amounts of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD together, Chief Deputy District Attorney Blake Nichols said, and documented much of their activities via video and audio, some of it posted on social media platforms.
Toxicology screens confirmed Perez had all three substances in his blood when he died, Nichols said Tuesday.
Blake said initial tests confirmed Hutt had more than 500 nanograms of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in his system, about 400 times the level of five nanograms set as the presumptive limit for impairment in Colorado.
But the prosecutor said Hutt’s original blood sample wasn’t preserved long enough to perform screens for additional substances.
According to court records, police responded on June 5, 2020, to a report of a man parked in the intersection at Chestnut Street and Calle Atajo acting erratically and claiming to have stabbed someone. They found Hutt sitting in the driver’s seat wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts with blood on them.
Hutt told officers he and his friend were “tripping on acid,” and his friend had “freaked out” before stabbing his friend in the neck, according to a Santa Fe Police Department statement of probable cause.
Hutt’s attorney, Tom Clark, said officials had combed through thousands of messages and posts seeking any indication of animosity between the two friends and found none.
Perez’s mother wrote in a letter to the court not a single day passes that she doesn’t miss and cry for her son but said she had “no bad feelings” towards Hutt.
Hutt’s mother — barely able to speak through her sobs — told the judge the incident has brought a depth of despair to her family that knows no bounds.
Hutt read a letter addressed Perez’s family at his hearing and asked for forgiveness while pledging to be at their service for the rest of his life.
“I can’t even begin to articulate how sorry I am or how horrible I feel,” he said. “It is beyond [what] words can convey. I feel ashamed just being in your presence.”
Hutt said he had considered taking his own life but decided against it because he didn’t want to inflict the same kind of trauma on his younger brother that Perez’s younger sister had suffered when her brother was killed.
Nichols said the state agreed to the plea deal with the permission of Perez’s family, in part to spare the family the agony of taking the case to trial.
“The State worked this case diligently from the start and engaged Mr. Perez’s family in that process,” Nichols wrote in an email following the hearing. “We are not afraid to try these tough cases, but we recognize the uncertainty that a trial can bring and we left that difficult decision up to Aiko’s family. Nothing can bring Aiko back. Nothing can undo this tragedy. But, ultimately, this was what the family chose. It sends the man who murdered their son, brother, friend, grandson to prison and, hopefully, provides some, small, sense of closure.”