Accused cop killer and mother canvassed several shops - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Accused cop killer and mother canvassed several shops

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Kathleen Mathews Kathleen Mathews
Jesse Mathews Jesse Mathews

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Channel 3 is learning more about the days leading up to the murder of a Chattanooga police sergeant.

The man accused of killing Sergeant Tim Chapin, and his family, were spotted in several businesses before the botched robbery that led to Chapin's death.

"She looked familiar and I couldn't place her," said Rick Davis, owner of Rick Davis' Gold and Diamonds, "and I still don't know if I did the deal."

Rick Davis says something seemed familiar about Kathleen Mathews when her mug shot appeared on the local news, but it wasn't until Tuesday he knew why.

"She had been in, she sold assorted gold," he said, "she sold chains and rings for $325."

Acting on a tip, Eyewitness News visited several pawn shops along Lee Highway and Brainerd Road Tuesday.

Two reported seeing Kathleen or Jesse Mathews in the days leading up to the robbery that ended in the death of Chattanooga Police Sergeant Tim Chapin.

We asked to look at the records Rick Davis keeps to track merchandise.

According to those documents, on March 8th, two days after the Mathews family moved to Chattanooga, Kathleen Mathews used her own name to make a deal.

Other shops have similar stories.

The owner of J & M Pawn Shop places Jesse Mathews at his store three days before the robbery. He says Mathews was shopping for guns.

When Eyewitness News interviewed Mathews' girlfriend last week she confirmed he spent a lot of time visiting pawn shops.

Rick Davis wonders how Mathews picked his target.

"Anyone could have been the target, they may have come by and seen our police presence and said maybe we don't need to hit them today and they went on to Plan B."

Mathews' plan also included Uncle Bob's Self Storage on Highway 58.

Federal authorities say that is where the Mathews family kept their "family collection" of stolen firearms. It's just a few miles from where Kathleen and Ray Mathews were living.

Jesse Mathews will make his first court appearance on Wednesday. His family will appear in federal court.

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