Local group organizes roadside protest after mother allegedly killed by son, friend

SAN ANTONIO – The death of a West Side mother, allegedly killed by her own son and his friend, has shocked many in the San Antonio community. For members of a local anti-domestic violence organization, it inspired them to take to the side of busy Highway 90 with a strong message for the San Antonio community and passersby.

Patricia Castillo, executive director of the PEACE Initiative, a local group committed to ending family violence, said killings like 53-year-old Mary Dempsey's have become far too common.

"It's not normal for people to be killing their family members on a daily basis," Castillo said. "And this is what it's starting to become."

Authorities believe Dempsey's son, Matthew Dempsey, and his friend, Daniel Saucedo, killed her when she walked in on them stealing from her home.

Matthew Dempsey, 18, went into horrific detail with investigators about how he and Saucedo beat Mary Dempsey with bats before cutting her throat, according to arrest paperwork.

Castillo was one of many women who lined the highway Saturday morning with signs bearing messages including, "Stop beating women now," "Another woman murdered" and "Stop killing women now." 

The women lined the busy roadway in remembrance of Mary Dempsey but also in protest of her killing.

"Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries," Castillo said, noting that most domestic violence deaths occur at home. "Our homes are supposed to be filled with peace and love."

Castillo said her group hopes to restore that safety in the home by working with members of the community, law enforcement and the justice system.

About the Authors: