Arraignment for Pittsylvania County triple murder suspect moved to next week

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. - The arraignment for a man accused of killing his mother, sister and her toddler has been rescheduled to next week. 

According to the Pittsylvania County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Clerk's Office, the arraignment has been continued until next Thursday at 8:30 a.m. 

The person 10 News spoke with at the clerk's office did not know why the arraignment was continued. 

This comes after the arraignment, originally scheduled for last week, was moved due to his hospitalization. 

Matthew Bernard is accused of killing his mother, 62-year-old Joan Bernard; his sister, 25-year-old Emily Bivens; and his 14-month-old nephew, Cullen Bivens, who all lived at 1949 Keeling Drive. 

Credit: Bryant Bernard

The Sheriff's Office says a motive is unclear, but Matthew Bernard's uncle, Bryant Bernard, told 10 News there were signs leading up to this incident.

"He expressed to his mother last week that he was having bad dreams, and that he'd seen demons around his bed," Bryant Bernard said about his nephew.

Credit: Chatham Star-Tribune

"He woke up, he said something to his mother that something's going on and 'it has to stop today' and he left. They never saw him again until the point of where (his mom) got back home and that's where she confronted him."

Joan Bernard was found in the driveway, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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