RALEIGH -- Days before Matthew Silliman was found murdered at a New Hill horse farm, his father, Ben, took him aside and told him to slow down, to focus on his own mental health rather than rushing to the aid of friends.
Matthew, an Apex High School senior who struggled with bipolar disorder, was perturbed by such a suggestion, his father recalled Monday in a Wake County courtroom.
"He said, 'Dad, my friends need me, and I can't give up on them,'" Ben Silliman recounted.
On Monday, three of those so-called friends were sentenced to prison for their parts in the bizarre 2008 murder of Silliman, who was found inside a sleeping bag with duct tape stretched across his mouth, plastic bags wrapped around his head and zip ties wrapped around his arms, legs and neck. A fourth teen, Ryan Patrick Hare, 19, who was called the mastermind in the killing, is already serving a life sentence in prison.
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