Judge Mattice Declines To Testify At Mathews Sentencing Hearing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice has told attorneys for the man charged with killing Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin that he is turning down their request to testify at a sentencing phase of the trial.

In a four-page hand-delivered letter to attorneys Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss, Judge Mattice said he carefully considered the request and said he is "keenly aware of the potential consequences your client faces in his state criminal proceedings." The state is seeking the death penalty for Jesse Mathews.

The judge also said, "I am profoundly aware that no one is above the law and that each individual has a personal responsibility to participate in the legal process so as to advance the cause of justice."

But he said, "Unfortunately, I cannot accede to your request."

He said under the federal Guide to Judiciary Policy, federal judges may not provide testimony in legal proceedings except as otherwise authorized by the regulations.

Judge Mattice said a number of factors in the policy weigh against him testifying in the Mathews case.

He said information about how the mother of Mathews, Katherine Mathews, may have affected him for evil is available in public transcripts.

The defense wants to cite evidence that Ms. Mathews was a controlling influence over her son and was involved in his criminal activity.

Judge Mattice said during his testimony that certain information that was sealed in the federal proceedings against Ms. Mathews might "inadvertently" come out.

He also said, "Moreover, I am concerned that my testimony could be perceived as expressing a personal position as to the propriety of any sentence that your client may face. Simply put, direct testimony from a federal district court judge in a state death penalty case could reflect poorly upon my impartiality in future criminal cases, or upon the impartiality of the federal judiciary in general."

He asked the attorneys that he be notified "as to whether you intend to pursue contempt proceedings or seek to institute enforcement of the subpoena in state court."

The defense is also seeking to have federal prosecutor Steve Neff testify in the Mathews sentencing. He has also declined.

The defense filed suit in federal court seeking to require the prosecutor to testify. Judge Mattice was assigned that case, but he has recused himself.

 

    

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALE, IAN TAYLOR 8452 EAST BRAINERD ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37421 27 Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE ALLEN, ANDRE ANTHONY 3407 GAIL DRIVE EAST RIDGE, 37412 27 Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE APOLINAR, KEVIN JOSE 1313 HIXSON PIKE APT3 CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Woman, 80, Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The victim was 80-year-old Joyce Burnett, who apparently died of smoke inhalation. She lived alone at the brick residence on Fisher Road. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. S tate arson investigators went to the scene. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)

Hall, Tull, Helton are Athletes of the Year

 A trio of outstanding athletes – a pair of UTC alums and a current Duke football star – will be recognized as “Athletes of the Year” at the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame dinner to be held March 2 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Former Southern Conference Female Basketball Player of the Year Taylor Hall is the female honoree, while UTC football All-American ... (click for more)

McCallie Wrestlers Take Third in State Duals

In a battle for third place in the TSSAA S-II State Wrestling Duals, it came down to the last match as McCallie’s Ryan Ward secured a 4-2 win as the Blue Tornado defeated MBA, 36-33 Saturday afternoon at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin. McCallie used three pins in the first five matches to lead 24-0, but MBA won six of the next seven matches to even the score ... (click for more)