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NOT STAYING SILENT: Ex-girlfriend of Wade Wilson speaks on her reported attack

Kelly Matthews claims Wilson sexually assaulted her in February 2019
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 01, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Convicted Cape Coral murderer Wade Wilson will soon find out if he will go to prison for life, or be put to death. Fox 4 Senior Reporter Kaitlin Knapp dug into his background after a State attorney made a comment to Knapp after the Wilson death recommendation.

"We have heard from many women who have been victimized by the defendant, but maybe you didn't go forward on charges or for whatever reason didn't find justice in the justice system," said Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller. "I think this win really ensures the safety of a lot of people."

People like Kelly Matthews, who dated Wilson back in 2018. She was interviewed by Scripps station WPTV in West Palm Beach shortly after he was named a person of interest in October 2019 for the murders of Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz.

Most recently, Matthews has been vocal on TikTok about her experience with Wilson.

"I dated this man in February of the same year that he killed those two women," she said in the nearly nine minute video.

She agreed to speak to Knapp about her life with Wade in Palm Beach County.

"I don't want to be quiet about this," Matthews said.

They met online in 2018, calling him charismatic and polite.

She said things changed when he started using drugs.

"It was just a very toxic relationship, but he was never violent, ever," Matthews said.

That's until February 18, 2019, she claims.

Matthews says Wilson agreed to go to rehab nearby, but backed out. Then, Matthews says Wilson said he wanted to go to a rehab in the Florida Keys. However, she said that wasn't true and wanted to meet someone down there instead. They eventually got into an argument in a parking lot.

"I got back in the car, put my seatbelt on and that is when he started choking me," Matthews said. "He choked me two or three times. I started to black out, I was freaking out."

She said Wilson pushed her on the floorboard of her car, cut off her clothes with a knife and told her to stay down there.

She said Wilson put her in the back of her car and sexually assaulted her.

According to Matthews, Wilson tied a shirt around her face and tired her hands and feet together with a used garbage bag inside the car. She says he also gagged her.

"At some point, he bit my face, bit me in the chin," she says.

Matthews said Wilson eventually untied her before they got to the Keys. Then, she says he got out, handed her the car keys and left with a woman.

That's when Matthews says she got in the car and left.

"I went 100 mph the whole way home, just hoping that I would get pulled over," she explained. "I should've stopped at a gas station or something, but I think I thought no one would believe me."

When she got home, she and her mom called police. Matthews says she went to the hospital with deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. They collected a sexual assault kit and took photos of her injuries, she said.

In a police report, it says they interviewed Wilson, who did not admit to any assault.

When deputies talked to Matthews, they noted in the report she had bruising on her beck and a cut to her lip.

However, they did not arrest Wilson.

"He was like no this is hearsay, we don't have any probable cause," Matthews said.

She's referring to the detective, who also put in the report, "...there are no witnesses to the alleged crime and no evidence to establish probable cause."

Matthews says she believes the system has failed her.

"I was just more angry that this [Cape Coral murders] could’ve been avoided if they would’ve just listened to me and put him in jail at the time," she said.

Fox 4 reached out to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, asking why they did not arrest Wilson despite visible injuries, a sexual assault kit and photographs of the injuries. As of Monday afternoon, the sheriff's office said they are working on our request.

"I don't get how somebody could do something so severe to somebody else and not get detained for it," she said.

About eight months later, Wilson was in Cape Coral where he killed Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz.

Through the trial, Matthews said she listened to the entire case and said the hardest part was hearing about the killings.

"Hearing the details of what he did to the women, because it’s almost exactly what he did to me," she said.

Wilson is facing the death penalty after a recommendation from the jury.

"There’s just something loose in there — he’s just a terrible person," she said.

Matthews sees his conviction and recommendation as some sort of justice.

"I feel like this is good for everyone that he's hurt," she said.

She says she wants to talk about what happened, for her own sake, and for other domestic violence cases.

"I just want people to know that they can leave, like get help," Matthews said. "If I had seen signs and not been so infatuated with him or whatever, you know, I wouldn’t have gone through all that."

As for Wilson, he's in jail waiting to see if a judge will agree to the jury's recommendation and sentence him to death.

"We're a strong group of people that he didn't beat and unfortunately, it took two women dying for him to get noticed," Matthews said. "You didn't win and you're going to get what you deserve."

Wilson will be sentenced on July 23.