CHICAGO
07/15/2011 12:26 pm ET Updated Sep 14, 2011

Murderer Anthony Matthews Giving Away Houses To Avoid Civil Settlement, Victim's Family Claims

According to the family of a murdered mother, her killer is trying to hide his assets to keep from paying a $1 million settlement in a civil suit.

Anthony Matthews was convicted just under a year ago of gunning down LaDeana Hite in front of her daughter. He was smoking crack cocaine at Hite's Joliet, Illinois home with her and Jeanette Morgan, according to the Will County State's Attorney, when he became upset and accused the women of stealing his drugs. He shot Morgan in the stomach, and Hite ran into her daughter's room where the girl was sleeping and locked the door. Matthews kicked the door down, and killed Hite in front of her daughter.

The girl then cowered behind her pillow as Matthews allegedly tried to shoot her, but his gun misfired, sparing her life, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time. She and Morgan were able to flee and survive.

Following his conviction, Hite's daughter Ashli filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Matthews, as the Chicago Sun-Times reports. After he didn't respond to the lawsuit, the judge ruled in the family's favor to the tune of $1 million in damages.

But according to a new story in the Tribune, Matthews may now be trying to dodge the payout.

The Hite family argues that Matthews gave the four properties he owns to three family members and a friend using so-called "quit claim" deeds. The family's lawyer, Jonathan Mann, says that the value of the property listed on the deeds was $0, which he says means that Matthews made the transfers for the purpose of making himself insolvent.

They are asking the judge to rule the transfers invalid, and place the homes on the market for sale, with the proceeds going toward the settlement, the Tribune reports.