published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Chattanooga: Lawyers prepare for alleged cop killer's death penalty trial

Jesse Mathews
Jesse Mathews

The next hearing in preparation for the trial of a federal fugitive charged in the shooting death of a local police sergeant is scheduled for Aug. 30.

Jesse Mathews faces the death penalty if convicted on the first-degree murder charge against him.

Mathews' attorney, Lee Davis, met with prosecutors before Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman this afternoon to review a list of more than 50 pre-trial motions and a jury questionaire.

All but six of the motions have already been agreed to by both sides. Those remaining motions will be argued before Steelman at the next hearing.

Mathews' trial is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2013.

Police arrested Mathews immediately after his brief gun battle with Chattanooga police Sgt. Tim Chapin on April 2, 2011.

Chapin knocked Mathews to the ground with his patrol car as the man fled the U.S. Money Shops on Brainerd Road after an alleged botched robbery.

Mathews had left a halfway house in Colorado where he was serving parole on previous armed robbery convictions. Colorado authorities say Mathews committed at least two other robberies before fleeing the state with the help of his sister Rachel Mathews and a then-girlfriend.

The sister, sister's boyfriend and Mathews mother and father have all pleaded guilty to federal charges related to their helping Mathews as he avoided police during his fugitive flight.

For more details see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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