published Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Family of suspect in police slaying indicted

The parents and sister of Jesse Mathews, the man accused of killing a police officer, were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Chattanooga.

The sister’s boyfriend also was indicted, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kathleen Mathews, 57, and Ray Vance Mathews, 50 — the parents of Jesse Mathews — and his sister Rachel Mathews, 21, were indicted on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, being accessories after the fact, misprision of felonies, and related firearms charges, the release stated.

The misprision charge refers to the accusation that they knew about felonies that had been committed but didn’t report them when questioned by authorities.

Rachel Mathews’ boyfriend, James Poteete, 26, was indicted on the same charges.

The arraignment for Poteete and Kathleen and Ray Mathews is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole. Rachel Mathews’ arraignment is slated for May 2 at 10 a.m. in district court.

Poole, who will represent the U.S. along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Neff, declined to comment further on the case.

Jesse Mathews, 25, has been charged with shooting and killing Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin on April 2 during a botched armed robbery attempt of the U.S. Money Shops on Brainerd Road.

The indictment claims that Kathleen, Rachel and Ray Vance Mathews, all of whom live in Asheville, N.C., and Poteete, of Antioch, Tenn., concealed firearms stolen and possessed by Jesse Mathews; acted as accessories after the fact to armed robberies committed by Jesse Mathews in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and attempted to conceal those crimes by harboring him.

The indictment also says the four tampered with evidence related to crimes committed by Jesse Mathews.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that Kathleen and Ray Vance Mathews provided firearms to Jesse Mathews, a known felon; and that Kathleen Mathews, a felon herself on a former manslaughter charge, knowingly possessed firearms and ammunition.

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