Judge considering lifting Mathews gag order
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- The judge in the Jesse Mathews murder trial is considering lifting the gag order on the case.
Mathews is accused of gunning down Chattanooga Police Sergeant Tim Chapin in April of 2011. Soon after court proceedings began, a gag order was put in place for everyone involved.
But an intervention was filed, requesting the order be more specific.
Jesse Mathews, through his attorneys, says he wants to tell his side of the story, with all the pre-trial publicity since the alleged shooting of Sergeant Chapin took place.
Anthony Jackson, the attorney representing our partners at the Times Free Press, went before Judge Barry Steelman Thursday to request he reconsider his gag order.
Citing another Tennessee case, Jackson says there's no immediate danger by letting Mathews speak to the media.
"The allegation from the state [is] that inadmissible evidence of some sort might be in front of the jury," Jackson said to Judge Steelman. "Well, your honor, that's true in any criminal prosecution. It's always true."
"There's always the chance that there's going to be something in the media coverage, that the jury's not going hear," he noted. "Probably every criminal case that's ever happened, there's going to be things in the media that the jury never gets to hear."
Judge Steelman voiced concern over contaminating the jury pool, saying even though attorneys are looking to pull jurors from the Nashville area that any news here in Chattanooga could make its way up there.
Steelman said he would issue an order on Jackson's request, but didn't say when.
Attorneys also handled some other pre-trial issues, regarding motions filed in the case and setting a date for the jury questionnaire to be complete.
Another pre-trial hearing is set for Friday, October 26th.