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17-year-old suspect Matthew Fox claims self-defense in Oklahoma death

BY PENNY COCKRELL Modified: January 30, 2009 at 8:42 am •  Published: January 30, 2009
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Copyright 2009, The Oklahoman

FORT WORTH, Texas — Matthew Gene Fox had plenty to say to reporters who visited him Thursday at the Tarrant County jail.

Fox, 17, suspected in the Saturday night stabbing death of his girlfriend’s father, Leroy Herrera, 41, admitted the killing but said it was self-defense.

Fox said he was hiding in his girlfriend’s closet when her father came in and "began yelling at her.”

Fox said Herrera asked, "Who are you?” and "I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it. If you’re going to hit somebody, hit me. Don’t hit a girl.’

"He’s like, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ Come on, hit me, hit me,” Fox said.

"He dropped me in one punch. I got back up and he was already in the kitchen and I took off running into the kitchen. I mean, somebody hits me, I’m gonna fight back, no matter what. I mean, when he come out of the kitchen, he had a knife. I ain’t the best fighter, I’m not saying that. It’s just when somebody has a knife, the whole situation is gonna change.”

The battle changed into a deadly one, Fox said.

"He had the knife in his left hand,” Fox said. "I was in front of him. When he came over to swing, all I did was grab his arm and push it up.

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Extradition plans on hold for now

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON

Plans for the extradition from Fort Worth, Texas, of a 15-year-old girl and her 17-year-old boyfriend were not settled Thursday, the Cleveland County sheriff's office said.

Brittany Herrera and Matthew Fox were still in the custody of Tarrant County on Thursday.

Tarrant County officials said Fox waived his extradition proceedings, but Cleveland County Undersheriff Rhett B. Burnett said he had not been notified that either teenager was “paper ready.” Burnett said he was probably not sending deputies to retrieve either teen until at least today.

The teens are suspected in the Saturday evening stabbing death of Leroy Herrera, 41, at the family's home in southwest Oklahoma City, in Cleveland County.

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