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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
September 2, 2005

Caddy pleads guilty in death of man found in basement

Dayton--A day after his trial began on August 29, a gay man pleaded no contest to charges stemming from the death of a Minnesota man whose body was found in his basement.

Matthew Caddy, 53, took the plea on a charge of reckless homicide in the death of Daniel Everson, 43, of Litchfield, Minn.

Caddy also accepted charges of gross abuse of a corpse and possession of criminal tools.

A plea of no contest means that the defendant agrees that, were the matter to go to trial, he or she would most likely be found guilty based on the evidence.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 12, and Caddy could get up to seven years for the charges.

Everson and Caddy met on the internet, and the victim came to Ohio in early August 2004 to spend vacation time with Caddy.

Everson�s body was found in Caddy�s basement on August 31, 2004, after a tip was phoned in to police from the office of an attorney Caddy had talked to, according to Det. Carol Johnson, a Dayton Police Department spokesperson. Caddy later that day returned to the house with his attorney, where he was taken into custody.

Everson�s brother said that he had previously traveled by bus to meet people he found online, and Everson�s car was parked near a Greyhound stop in his home state.

Autopsy results found that Everson died of kidney failure due to severe bruising on his back and shoulders. Court testimony indicated he had been beaten with a sex toy in what the prosecution described as a consensual master-slave fantasy.

At least one of Caddy�s online profiles went into detail on his enjoyment of sadomasochism, including �blindfolds, bondage-light/heavy/severe, breath control, bullwhip, collars, cuffs, electricity, face mask, gags, kidnapping, mummification.�

Everson�s body was found handcuffed, tied to a piece of wood and covered with a sheet.

Dr. Brian D. Casto, a deputy Montgomery County coroner, testified that it appeared Everson had been dead for as long as a week and a half.

�You never go home with someone you don�t know,� warns Dennis McMahon, president of the Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend and a former Mr. Cleveland Leather. �If you do, make sure someone knows who you�re gong home with and where.�

�The leatherman�s credo is �Safe, sane, consensual,�� he continues. �Ask around about someone before going with them. [Leather] is a small community and most people know one another. It�s the quiet ones that have no reputation and no one has ever heard of before, that you have to look out for.�

Caddy was involved with Dignity Dayton, once serving as its president, before breaking with the group two decades ago over their refusal to stop meeting on Catholic Church property.

He also became active in anti-war activities after the September 11 terrorist attacks, but left a major area coalition over his belief that the organization should focus more on religion.

Caddy has been in trouble with the law twice before. Under his birth name of Stephen Lee MacFarland, he was charged with aggravated robbery, rape and kidnapping in connection with an assault on a male co-worker at the Suicide Prevention Center in 1977. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was given three years� probation.

In 2003, an Australian man told police that Caddy tied him up and held him captive briefly, but the man refused to press charges. As in the death of Daniel Everson, Caddy met the Australian on the internet.

Related stories

June 17, 2005: New charge and trial date set for man with body in cellar

September 10, 2004: Man jailed after body is found in his basement

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