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.

 

    

 


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Senator Overbey Nominated To Be U.S. Attorney For Eastern Tennessee District

State Senator Doug Overbey was nominated by President Trump on Friday to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Senator Bob Corker said,  “Doug Overbey is an outstanding choice to serve Tennesseans as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Doug has had a distinguished law career, spanning nearly four decades, and has served the Volunteer State honorably in the ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Every week I get emails full of inspiration and funny stories. This summer I have gathered a sampling of my weekly harvest and presented the collection as a reminder we ought to cherish laughter with those we love and the weekend. I am not only amazed how popular my ‘Summer Saturdays’ have become but this week I have gotten funnies from California, Texas and Arizona, to mention ... (click for more)

Lookouts Continue To Roll With Friday's 4-2 Win Over Mobile

MOBILE, Ala.  -- LaMonte Wade hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and Andy Wilkins homered as the Chattanooga Lookouts topped the Mobile BayBears 4-2 on Friday. The home run by Wade scored Dan Rohlfing and Nick Gordon to give the Lookouts a 4-0 lead. Chattanooga starter Dereck Rodriguez (4-1) picked up the win after allowing just four hits over five scoreless ... (click for more)

Katie Tingle Named Covenant Women's Basketball Assistant

The Covenant women's basketball program has announced the hiring of Katie Tingle as the full-time assistant coach for head coach Sarah Harris. Tingle replaces Kiaira Cooper, who recently left the program for an administrative position at Houghton College.  "I am so thankful to director of athletics Tim Sceggel and head coach Sarah Harris for this opportunity to ... (click for more)