Mathews family receives sentences in court Monday
(WRCB) - A federal judge has sentenced the family of accused murderer Jesse Mathews.
Ray Mathews has been sentenced to 20 years, 10 months for his role in the escape of Jesse Mathews from a Colorado halfway house.
Jesse Mathews's sister, Rachel Mathews, has been sentenced to 11 years, 4 months for her role.
Rachel's boyfriend, James Poteet, has been sentenced to 6 years, 9 months for his part. Poteet has been out of jail while awaiting sentencing. The judge has ordered that Poteet report to a federal prison within 30 days to begin serving his sentence.
Earlier, Jesse Mathews's mother Kathleen Mathews has been sentenced to 30 years and 6 months in prison for her role in the escape of her son Jesse Mathews from a Colorado halfway house.
In an unexpected twist, Kathleen Mathews took the stand during the sentencing hearing, against her attorney's advice.
"[Jesse] begged me to help him. He begged me," Kathleen said. "What was I to do? I love my son. I don't know how to say no."
In her testimony, Mathews explains to the court that she and her family are the real victims in the case.
"The FBI is doing what they said they will do. That is erase the Mathews name from the Earth," she testified. "I am sorry to Sergeant Chapin's family. He was just doing his job. You will kill my family though for his actions."
"The justice system was invented for cases like this," said US District Attorney Bill Killian.
Jesse Mathews is accused of robbing a Chattanooga pawn store and killing Chattanooga Police Sergeant Tim Chapin in the ensuing gun battle on April 2nd of last year.
Defense attorneys for the Mathews family argued that the federal indictments only included charges related to crimes in Colorado.
However, the federal judge ruled that since the events of April 2nd made federal prosecutors aware of the crimes committed in Colorado, they should be considered in sentencing.
Jesse Mathews is still awaiting trial in the death of Sgt. Chapin.
Channel 3's Antwan Harris is in Federal Court today following the case. Latest developments as they become available on WRCBtv.com