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Charges reduced for man accused in officer involved shooting

Christopher Matthews allegedly shooting at two Gurley police officers in June.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:09 PM CST
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MADISON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - A man accused of shooting two police officers had his charges reduced in the Madison County Courthouse Wednesday. A judge reduced Christopher Matthews’ charges after his attorney said it would not be appropriate to bound the case over for attempted murder because there is no a probable cause that Matthew intended to end a life.

Just because the charges are currently lessened, a Madison County grand jury can still indict Matthews for attempted murder when the time comes. This all stems from Matthews allegedly shooting at two Gurley police officers in June.

At Wednesday’s hearing, an investigator with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office took the stand. He explained that Matthews had a warrant out for his arrest, and two Gurley police officers approached him. He says Matthews began running back between two houses. When the officers chased after Matthews, the investigator said he turned around, stopped, and fired twelve rounds in close range.

One of the Gurley police officers returned fire, striking Matthews twice. The prosecution argued that this was attempted murder since Matthews fired at close range in the midst of a pursuit, and Defense attorney Larry Marsili says that is not the same level as attempting to kill.

If Matthews is in fact indicted on an attempted murder charge, he would be facing quite a different range of punishment.

”In Alabama, an attempted murder charge carries the same range of punishment as an actual murder charge. So, with a firearm involved it would be a 20-year minimum sentence up to life in prison with attempted murder if he were to be convicted of that offense. An attempted assault is a lesser, I would argue is a lesser charge and I think that’s where Judge Coats was determining that was likely a charge that would come out during a trial anyway,” said Marsili.

The investigator also testified Matthews was saying bizarre things while being questioned at the hospital, like how he owned the state of Alabama, and that people are playing games with him. The investigator also said Matthews admitted to shooting first that night.

Marsili says it’s too early to determine if his words to investigators were a result of a mental defect or medication for his injuries.

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