Urbana Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life for Murder


(URBANA, Ohio) — An Urbana man is headed to prison for the brutal murder of an 87-year-old in 2011, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.

Josiah Mathews, 32, was sentenced this morning in Champaign County Common Pleas Court to 25 years to life, including 15 years to life for murder and 10 years for aggravated robbery. He will serve the sentences consecutively, meaning that he won’t be eligible for parole for 25 years.

The sentencing follows Matthews’ October 2022 conviction by a Champaign County jury. Evidence in the case showed that on Oct. 24, 2011, Matthews entered the Urbana home of Louis Taylor and assaulted him, causing severe blunt-force injuries, including multiple skull fractures. Taylor was hospitalized and died 24 days later.

“The victim died before he could lead us to his attacker, but determined investigators made sure he got justice,” Yost said. “The community is safer with this cold-blooded killer off the streets.”

After the assault, Matthews stole Taylor’s wedding ring and vehicle, which was later found abandoned in a parking lot in Springfield. Investigators discovered Matthews’ fingerprints on the vehicle’s exterior and also learned that Matthews had checked into a nearby hotel.

An analysis of Matthews’ phone showed that he was in the area prior to the assault before turning his phone off for three hours. Witnesses testified that Matthews bragged about having been in the area to find someone to rob. Others testified that Matthews tried to sell the stolen vehicle and wedding ring.

The Urbana Police Department investigated the case, the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation performed lab work, and attorneys with Yost’s Special Prosecutions Section prosecuted the case.