Man pleads guilty to murdering cousin with AR-15 and trying to burn his corpse

A 30-year-old man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the killing of his cousin last year. Derek Louk admitted to fatally shooting Tyler Matthai and then conspiring with two others to burn the body and cover up the crime. The plea was entered in Bedford County Court, and Louk is set to be sentenced on September 22. Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry commended the guilty plea, stating that Louk is accepting responsibility for his “senseless acts of violence and disregard for human life.”

Derek Louk pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the killing of his cousin, Tyler Matthai. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Louk will serve 15-30 years in prison.

Louk’s estranged girlfriend, Courtney S. Boden, was sentenced to 2¼ to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to helping burn the body and participating in the cover-up. Another individual, Jordon Robertson, has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

According to authorities, the incident occurred on April 26, 2022. Tyler Matthai allegedly burst into Derek Louk’s home and dragged Courtney Boden into a car outside. Louk then shot Matthai twice with an AR-15 rifle. After the shooting, Louk dragged Matthai’s body to a hole in his yard, buried it under tires, and set it on fire for six hours while he slept.

In a criminal complaint and affidavit, Louk stated that he and Boden had been friends for seven years. He claimed that Matthai had an abusive relationship with Boden and that Matthai had physically assaulted her on the night of the incident.

Authorities obtained a criminal complaint and affidavit that documented the case and included Louk’s statements to the police after his arrest. According to a witness, Boden claimed that Matthai had been doing drugs and was high that night. She alleged that Matthai was physically aggressive towards her, and Louk warned him to stop or face consequences. Boden stated that Matthai did not stop, and Louk shot him in the upper left arm as a result. Boden also mentioned that they disposed of the body and belongings, leaving no trace behind.