Jesse Mathews makes plea deal, avoids death penalty - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: Jesse Mathews makes plea deal, avoids death penalty

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Career criminal Jesse Ray Mathews has avoided trial and the death penalty by admitting that he killed Chattanooga Sgt. Timothy Chapin after police interrupted the robbery of a pawn shop in Brainerd in April 2011.

The plea agreement, made public in Hamilton County Criminal Court Friday afternoon, means Mathews will spend the rest of his life in prison, with no possibility of parole, for Sgt. Chapin's murder.

Mathews' was set to go to trial in January. Prosecutors had indicated they would seek the death penalty.

Per the agreement, Judge Barry Steelman  has sentenced Mathews to 25 years for additional felony charges connected to Sgt. Chapin's death.

By accepting the plea deal, Mathews acknowledged in court that this waives any future appeals on the sentencing.

We'll have full coverage of the hearing and the reaction on Eyewitness News Live at 5 and 6.

Please check back here at for further updates on this developing story.

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