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.

 

    

 


Couple With Outstanding Warrants For Theft Arrested Wednesday Night In East Ridge

East Ridge Police responded to the Rodeway Inn 6674 Ringgold Road Wednesday night  regarding suspicious parties possibly checked in using false information. Police had previously identified the suspects as involved in area storage unit thefts.    Police found Ricky Barnett and Jennifer Murray in room 359 of the hotel.  Both were arrested on outstanding warrants. ... (click for more)

Senator David Perdue Statement On Keystone Pipeline Approval

U.S. Senator David Perdue made the following statement on the Keystone Pipeline permit:   “It’s encouraging to see President Trump make building the Keystone Pipeline a priority. This is especially encouraging given that President Obama vetoed the project even when it had support from Democrats and Republicans. President Trump has said job one is getting our economy going, ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response (2)

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Scottsboro Boys

There is a good-sized train tunnel that runs under the northern tip of Lookout Mountain, right next to Cummings Highway. It was inside that tunnel on this very weekend 86 years ago, that the worst tragedy in the fabled history of the South was born. This was during the tight grip of the Depression and about two dozen hobos had jumped the train from the time it left Southern Railway's ... (click for more)

Storrs' Two-Hitter Leads Bears Past Patriots 4-0

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Jefferson County had no trouble scoring runs while winning its first four games to open the high school baseball season. But Bradley Central right-hander Tripp Storrs stopped the Patriots cold Thursday at the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex in an Ooltewah Invitational game. Storrs threw a masterful two-hit shutout and Bradley manufactured all its runs ... (click for more)

Grundy Co. Gets First Softball Win Over CSAS

Grundy County got its first softball win of the season with a 10-3 victory over CSAS in the Lookout Valley Invitational Thursday evening, but they came up short in the next game in a 10-9 loss to South Pittsburg. The three-day tournament continues with more pool play on Friday at the O’Mary-Conard Field next to Lookout Valley Elementary School while bracket play will take place ... (click for more)