CBS News’ ’48 Hours: Alisa Mathewson’s Night Terrors’ follows the egregious crime committed by a convicted felon Trevor Summers as he abducted and raped his former wife, Alisa Mathewson, in Valrico, Florida, in March 2017. He kidnapped Alisa from her own with the coerced support of their own children and was caught after 55 hours. If you’re interested in finding out more about the case, including how Trevor committed the crime and his relationship with his ex-wife, here’s what we know so far.
Who is Trevor Summers?
Trevor Steven Summers married his high school sweetheart, Alisa Mathewson Summers, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2001. Their 16-year-long marriage saw the birth of five children — Arden Summers, Landen, Bryn, Grady, and Cooper — aged between three to fourteen in March 2017. The eldest child, Arden, reminisced how she loved her father and “had a great relationship with him.” She recalled, “We would go out on little dates together, go out for dinners, just him and I, or grocery shopping.”
Trevor sought to manipulate this father-daughter bonding to commit one of the most heinous crimes in Florida’s history. Though described as a bright and competent person, he was always on the lookout to earn quick money through crooked ways. A 2008 federal lawsuit against Trevor accused him of having more than 20 civil suits filed against him, serving probation for minor charges such as passing bad checks, and filing for bankruptcy three times from 2004 to 2006. Court records show he lost a $4 million judgment in 2011.
According to reports, his life fell apart in September 2016 when he pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in federal court in Pennsylvania. His attorney stated Trevor and his partner and co-defendant, Jonathan Snyder, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud and conspiracy scheme on September 16, 2016. They were accused of making false claims of holding patents on straws that could be printed with safe ink. They raised $1 million in funding with the promise to publish those straws.
However, federal prosecutors alleged it was all a scam to defraud investors out of at least $345,000. One of the investors, who had reportedly invested $10,000, was a Pennsylvania restaurant owner named Krissy Flynn, then 39. She met the Summers couple in high school there and described Trevor as brilliant but weird. Krissy said, “I don’t trust this guy for a second. He’s a brilliant person, and he knows how to scam money out of people.” However, various shady aspects of Trevor’s business scheme raised flags amongst investors, culminating in him and his partner pleading guilty to federal charges on September 16, 2016.
Trevor and Alisa began having a strenuous relationship since then, with her seeking to file a domestic violence injunction against Trevor on October 31, which was dismissed a week later, on November 10. She filed for divorce in Florida in December 2016 and had shared custody of their five children. However, she filed another petition for a protective order on February 21, 2017, alleging Trevor held her hostage at gunpoint. The following day, he filed a protective order against his former wife, accusing her of fabricating allegations and child abuse.
Where is Trevor Summers Now?
Alisa was seeing a new man, Jeff Mathewson, and had recently discussed with Arden and Landen Summers the prospect of them moving in. Arden, then 14, wanted her parents to get together, and Trevor promised the hopeful child he would talk with her mother and sort things out. Arden said, “I was hoping that you know, my family would be back together and healthy and fixed.” At the time, Alisa resided in a home in Valrico, Florida. On her father’s orders, Arden opened a window at around 1:00 am on March 11, 2017, for him to enter the house.
Trevor allegedly entered his ex-wife’s room, dragged her out of her bed — in which Bryn and Grady were sleeping — by her feet, and physically assaulted her in the living room, ultimately restraining her. Around 5:00 am, he asked Arden to take her siblings and drive the car back to his home, where the youngest child, Cooper, was sleeping alone. After the children left, Trevor allegedly sexually assaulted Alisa but claimed in court the sex was consensual because he had loosed some of her restraints.
He started driving a bound and gagged Alisa in her dark blue Saturn Outlook, which several witnesses spotted when they stopped at a local Walgreen. After spotting their SUV at a local marina, the sheriff’s deputies tailed the vehicle for two miles and rescued Alisa on March 13. According to reports, he allegedly attempted to strangle her with a rope as authorities closed in, then began slashing at his throat with a razor blade. The police found a lengthy letter to the couple’s five children, purported to be a suicide note.
During Trevor’s August 2022 trial, Alisa testified, “And he (Trevor) began slitting his throat and saying, ‘This is what love is. I’m laying my life down for you. You don’t deserve this.'” He was ultimately charged with attempted murder, armed false imprisonment, kidnapping, grand theft auto, violation of a domestic violence injunction, two counts of sexual battery, and four counts of child neglect.
The case drew headlines as the 45-year-old Trevor ditched his court-appointed legal team midway through his August 2022 trial for allegedly grilling his wife and children in court. However, a jury found him guilty of all charges on August 27, 2022. Trevor was sentenced to spend the rest of his natural life in jail on October 4. According to court records, he is incarcerated at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution.
Read More: Lynn Reister Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her?