Dave Roth will never forget the day his 24-year-old son was killed–but he had to remind those involved in trying the two men charged with his son’s death of the date.
Roth leaves at 4 a.m. from his home in New Jersey to attend every hearing for Ryan Thompson and Rasheed Murray. The two men were charged with murder after they were allegedly racing at 3 a.m. on July 19, 2015 near the intersection of 16th and Madison Streets, NW. Murray lost control of the car and his car landed atop Matthew Roth’s, according to his father.
Minutes after a hearing where he had to ask that the trial for his son’s murder not be held on the third anniversary of his son’s death, Roth smiled, boasting of his son’s accomplishments.
“He had a great 24 years, but it was cut short,” Roth said, scrolling through photos of his son in a graduation cap and gown.
Roth said his son was handsome, smart and kind. Never one to break the rules or to hurt a fly.
“Everything that happened just goes against who he was,” Dave Roth said.
Matthew Roth had come to the DC-area to pave his own way. Though his dad has his own CPA firm, Roth still decided to get a job on his own at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He graduated in 2013 from the University of Maryland and passed the CPA test on the first try. Not on his resume was his love for traveling and sports.
The Roth family has set up a foundation at the University of Maryland’s Robert Smith School of Business to give scholarships to students wishing to attend the school from New Jersey.
Matthew Roth’s younger brother Zach has started an organ donor club at his school in the wake of his brother’s death.
Dave Roth sat in the courtroom last week wearing a jersey with his son’s name embroidered on the back as the prosecutor, judge and attorneys went back and forth, checking calendars, holiday schedules and vacation schedules to find a time to fit in his son’s murder trial.
While other people are on vacation and celebrating holidays, Dave Roth said he’s visiting his son’s grave. In the meantime, he will keep trudging along, waiting for the trial.
A trial date was eventually set for Sept. 5, 2018–more than three years after the crash that killed Matthew Roth.
“It’s just senseless. This didn’t have to happen,” Roth said. “That is the part that just kills me. And that’s why these guys need to go to jail.”