published Monday, April 11th, 2011

Judge Bob Moon asked to recuse himself from slain officer case

  • photo
    In this file photo, Judge Robert Moon sits in his courtroom.
    Staff File Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

A public defender for Jesse Ray Mathews, the man accused of killing Chattanooga Police Department Sgt. Timothy Chapin, filed a motion today asking for Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon to recuse himself in the case.

Moon wrote a memorial poem called “Away is Not Forever” in tribute to Sgt. Chapin, which was displayed during the officer’s funeral on Thursday. The poem was also published on, and copies are being printed by Aladdin Printing and Copying for distribution to the public, according to the filing.

“The defendant feels that should Judge Moon fail to disqualify himself, his impartiality might be open to question,” the motion states. “It is important to the integrity of the criminal justice system that the public’s confidence in the impartiality of its judiciary not be eroded by an appearance of bias.”

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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Matthews should have thought about the "impartiality" while he was firing at officers!

April 11, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
Haiku said...

Judge Moon is an honorable judge, a compassionate and gifted human being. I have no questions or concerns about his ability to judge, putting aside his emotions. However, I understand the defense attorny's concerns, as I believe Judge Moon does too. The judge will do the right thing. It's a part of his character.

April 11, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
ITguy said...

To remove all possibility of a mistrial or appeal, the judge should step aside.

April 11, 2011 at 6:13 p.m.

Situations like this make me wonder how the justice system got to the point where it is. Mathews murdered Sergeant Chapin in broad daylight and now he has "rights." Perhaps Judge Moon should step down, see ITguy's comment. God help us when the appeal process starts.

April 11, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.
allGODSchildren said...

Hopefully not, wildman. Not in our CIVILIZED society. Or is it really?

April 11, 2011 at 8:19 p.m.
Facts said...

Of course, Mr. Lawyer, let's get the parolee in front of a lenient judge. Judge Rebecca Stern's is likely on speed dial for defense lawyer.

April 11, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.
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