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Case downgraded for Albemarle man accused of abducting wife at gunpoint

An often-arrested Albemarle County man recently charged with abducting his wife at gunpoint and threatening a murder-suicide has seen most of those charges dropped and been released from jail.

Dillon Scott Matney, 25, who stands accused of threatening to “smoke” both his wife and himself on Jan. 3, has been freed after submitting a misdemeanor assault and battery plea.

Matney had been charged with abduction, criminal use of a firearm, possession of a firearm as a felon and possession of ammunition as a felon after an alleged Jan. 3 incident at the Blenheim Road residence of his mother-in-law.

“I will smoke her and then smoke myself,” Matney is alleged to have said while holding a handgun to the head of his wife, Brittany Dudley.

The concerning quotation came from a criminal complaint which relied upon an account from Dudley’s mother-in-law. However, according to people familiar with the case, there was confusion about whether Matney ever had a gun when leaving his mother-in-law’s house and whether his alleged victim went willingly.

“The case looked really bad at the beginning,” defense attorney Michael Hallahan told The Daily Progress.

Hallahan said that, contrary to the initial report from the concerned mother, her daughter actually left willingly with Matney and denied that a gun was ever put to her head. Even the mother who initially contacted police, Hallahan said, conceded that she didn’t actually see a gun when she supposedly heard the threat.

“When the police caught up with the victim, her daughter, she told the police that he never had a gun and that he was just talking trash,” Hallahan said.

The matter, which was slated for a hearing on Feb. 12, was advanced to late January, Hallahan said, because his client was being held without bail.

“The commonwealth couldn’t go forward on that evidence,” said Hallahan. “And the police never found a gun.”

The abduction charge was downgraded Jan. 24 when Matney pleaded guilty in the county’s Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court to a misdemeanor account of assault and battery of a family member. Within two days, the other three charges had been dropped, court records show.

Matney, who has racked up more than 20 arrests and at least 10 convictions across three jurisdictions, was released from from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on Jan. 26, according to a jail official.

The latest incident is not the first time Matney has been accused of abusing his wife.

In May, he was convicted of assault and battery in Albemarle Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court after a witness notified police that he saw Matney punch a woman in the face, a blow that bloodied Dudley’s nose.

Matney also faces a pending charge for allegedly pulling Dudley’s hair and biting her. While that case was headed for a deferred disposition in March 2025, the court has intervened to slate a Feb. 23 hearing to consider a claim that Matney has failed to comply with court-ordered supervision.

Court records show that Matney has encountered another legal trouble in recent weeks, this time stemming from his 2021 unlawful wounding conviction in Charlottesville Circuit Court. In that case, he was found guilty of unlawful wounding for stabbing a sleeping man.

On Nov. 6, Judge Claude Worrell reimposed 14 days of Matney’s suspended sentence after a probation officer reported “drug use, domestic issues, community complaints, and absconding from supervised probation.”

Worrell issued an order demanding that Matney remain on good behavior for a year and three months, a span that appears to encompass January’s incident and Matney’s ensuing guilty plea to assault and battery. An arrest warrant was issued Feb. 12 charging Matney with violating the judge’s order.


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