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 Ganged After Arranging To Sell PlayStations Via Letgo App

Two men and a woman have been charged in an incident in which a couple said they were robbed, ganged and threatened with a gun after meeting to sell PS3 and PS4 PlayStations for $200. The couple said the deal was set up through the app Letgo that is used for selling items to individuals. They said it was arranged that they meet with the potential buyer, Charley Daniel, on ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Woman Charged With Stealing Items From Cars, Firing Shots At Homeowner Who Confronted Her

A 27-year-old Ooltewah woman has been charged with stealing items from cars on Maplewood Drive, then firing two shots at a homeowner who confronted her. Morgan Lyndsey Shoemaker, of 5204 Village Garden Dr., Ooltewah, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, four counts of burglary, two counts of theft of property and possession of a firearm during ... (click for more)

A Light Rain Began To Fall

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)

Bradley Girls, Cleveland Boys Post Big 5-3A Wins

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – At this juncture in the District 5-3A basketball season, the No. 1 question around District 5-3A is can anyone slow down the Bradley Central girls and Cleveland boys? About 3,000 fans that packed Raider Arena on Friday night probably left feeling like the No. 1-ranked Bearettes and No. 3 Blue Raiders are entrenched atop the league standings and are possibly ... (click for more)

Arts & Sciences Shows Improvement In Win Over Silverdale Baptist

When the Arts & Sciences and Silverdale Baptist boys’ basketball teams met for the first time this season, the Patriots fought to pull out a 10-point victory in the District 5-A game. For Friday’s rematch, CSAS wanted to prove that it had improved since that Nov. 29 matchup, and it only took one quarter for the Patriots to do just that. Coach Mark Dragoo’s ... (click for more)