Woman indicted for murder, accused of drowning 93-year-old grandma

A 35-year-old Eaton woman indicted Monday is accused of drowning her 93-year-old grandmother last month at the older woman’s home.

Heidi Michelle Matheny is scheduled to appear Friday for an arraignment hearing before Preble County Common Pleas Judge Stephen Bruns following her indictment on one count of murder.

Credit: Preble County Jail

Credit: Preble County Jail

Matheny was taken into custody Nov. 15, less than two hours after she told Eaton Police Division detectives that she drowned Alice Matheny, then went out the bathroom window of her grandmother’s Somers Street duplex, according to Eaton Municipal Court records.

Eaton Municipal Court Judge Ed Kalil on Nov. 17 set her bond at $500,000, and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 22. That hearing was continued until Nov. 30 and continued again to Wednesday because she is at Summit Behavioral Health in Cincinnati, court documents stated.

According to an Eaton police report, Matheny was placed on a suicide watch at the time of her arrest, and at her initial arraignment she said she did not “wish to have an attorney.”

However, the court appointed attorney Gracita Hubler. She and Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel last week did not return phone calls seeking comment. County Sheriff Michael Simpson said he could not comment on inmate medical information.

The municipal court hearing will not happen now that she has been indicted by a county grand jury, and it also is not clear whether she will be able to appear for her Friday arraignment.

Matheny walked into the Preble County Sheriff’s Office about 5:55 p.m. Nov. 15 and said she wanted to turn herself in. She told an Eaton police detective she killed her grandmother. When officers responded to a duplex in the 300 block of East Somers Street, they found Alice Matheny, deceased and lying in a bathtub.

An autopsy revealed Alice had a fractured sternum and rib as well as multiple bruises on her neck and arms, according to court documents.

During an interview with police, Heidi Matheny said her grandmother was doing dishes at the kitchen sink when she came up behind her and put her head in the sink, according to an Eaton police report. She told police she held her grandmother there until the bubbles stopped and then moved her to the couch.

“She thought that [Alice] may not be dead so she went into the bathroom and filled the bathtub,” the report read. “She drug [Alice] into the bathroom and placed her into the tub.”

Matheny said she held her grandmother underwater for 15 minutes in the bathtub, according to the police report. She demonstrated how she overpowered her grandmother and held her by the hair.