VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A mother is demanding her son be released from prison.  

Matthew Rushin is serving 10 years for hitting another vehicle head-on on First Colonial Road.  Prosecutors say he intentionally slammed his car into another trying to commit suicide.

“There is no doubt in my mind he intentionally tried to kill himself by driving into traffic,” said Greg Cusick.

Cusick says his family was forever changed back in January 2019.  His parents, Danna and George, were in the head-on collision. George suffered a severe brain injury and will never fully recover.

“My father, his mind is gone,” Cusick added.  “He hasn’t recovered 5 percent of his mental or physical capabilities.”

Matthew Rushin, the man responsible for the crash, is now sitting in a prison cell, but his mom believes he should be free.

“He should be released due to the injustice and the circumstances surrounding the incident,” said Rushin’s mother, Lavern Rushin.

Matthew Rushin pleaded guilty.  She says Matthew has autism and because of the severity of the charges, attempted murder,  he was forced to plead guilty, fearing going to trial.  She claims she has uncovered and sent new evidence to the governor hoping for a pardon.

“It was an accident,” Lavern Rushin added. “It was unintentional. The police department and [city Commonwealth’s Attorney] Colin Stolle have taken this to another level. I will fight it through with my last breath.”

Last week, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle sent a five-page letter to the governor outlining the case in efforts to keep Matthew Rushin behind bars.

“I felt it was important to make sure the governor’s office understood all the facts related to this case,” Stolle said. “There are no winners in this case, but what is being lost in the dialogue on social media is that there were innocent victims involved here.”

Stolle also said the pardon request itself contained inaccurate facts. Stolle laid out evidence from the case, as well as prior incidents, in the letter.

Lavern Rushin believes Matthew will soon be home, but that’s the last thing the Cusick family wants to see.

“My father is destroyed,” Cusick said.  “He lost everything and my mom lost my father. We all lost our father.”

Lavern Rushin says she is working with several local delegates to get her son out of prison.

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