UPDATE: Man Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting FBI Agent

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 9/24/12 @ 3:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Lincoln County man was sentenced to eight years and one day in federal prison for assaulting an FBI agent with a firearm during an election fraud investigation.

According to a release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, James A. Matheny, 62, of Midkiff, W.Va., was found guilty by a federal jury back in May. Matheny was convicted of assaulting a federal officer and using a deadly weapon during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Matheny was approached by an FBI agent and an investigator from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office. The investigators were probing fraud in the 2010 Lincoln County primary election. According to the release, when the investigators asked Matheny if they could show him some documents concerning the election, he pulled out a pistol and threatened to kill them.

“We owe it to our law enforcement officers to do everything we can to protect them on the job,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “We’ve seen too many tragic, senseless law enforcement deaths in situations just like this: routine encounters that suddenly turn violent. A few weeks ago, West Virginians received yet another somber reminder that law enforcement officers risk their lives every day to keep the rest of us safe. I will spare no effort in prosecuting anyone who attacks them.”

Federal prosecutors were hoping for a sentence of 10 years in connection with the crime.



UPDATE 8/21/12 @ 10:45 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10-year prison sentence for a Lincoln County resident convicted of assaulting election fraud investigators.

The Associated Press reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan asked U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston in a sentencing memorandum to impose the term on James A. Matheny of Midkiff.

Matheny was found guilty in May after prosecutors say he used a gun to threaten an FBI agent and an investigator for the secretary of state's office.

The pair sought to question Matheny on Feb. 28 as they investigated absentee ballot fraud in the 2010 Democratic primary. Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman, Clerk Donald Whitten and Commissioner Thomas Ramey Jr. resigned and pleaded guilty to their roles in the fraud scheme.

Matheny is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 31.



UPDATE 5/11/12 @ 3:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A federal court jury has convicted James Matheny of assaulting a federal officer and using a deadly weapon during, and in relation to, a crime of violence.

Matheny, 61 of Midkiff, in Lincoln County, was charged in a two-count indictment in March.

Prosecutors say that on February 28, Matheny was approached by a FBI Agent and an investigator from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office. The investigators were probing fraud in the 2010 Lincoln County primary election.

When the investigators asked Matheny if they could show him some documents concerning the election, he drew a pistol and threatened to kill them. The investigators were not hurt in the confrontation.

Matheny faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment when he is sentenced on August 22.

“Pulling a gun on a federal agent is something we will not tolerate,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. “I hope this case sends a clear message that makes all of our law enforcement officers’ jobs a little bit safer.”

Matheny's trial took place in U.S. District Court in Charleston.



UPDATE 3/15/12 @ 2:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man from Lincoln County who was arrested and charged with threatening to kill an FBI agent was back in court Thursday.

James Matheny, 61, of Midkiff, appeared in federal court for an arraignment hearing.

Matheny pleaded not guilty to two charges, including assault of a federal officer conducting an investigation and brandishing a deadly weapon.

His trial was set for May 8.

Matheny will remain in jail without bond.



UPDATE 3/7/12
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man from Lincoln County who was arrested and charged with threatening to kill an FBI agent has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

James Matheny, 61, of Midkiff, was arrested at his residence on February 28.

The FBI says the incident happened when a Special Agent and an investigator with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office attempted to interview Matheny in connection with the investigation of voter fraud relating to the 2010 Primary Election in Lincoln County.

Matheny allegedly brandished a handgun and threatened to kill the agent and the investigator.

Tuesday, a U.S. District Court Grand Jury in Huntington indicted Matheny on one count of assault with a deadly weapon on a federal officer and person assisting a federal officer, and one count of brandishing a firearm.

If convicted, Matheny faces life in prison and a $250,000 fine.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/29/12
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man from Lincoln County has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill an FBI agent.

A FBI spokesperson says James Matheny, 61, of Midkiff, was arrested at his residence Tuesday afternoon.

The arrest warrant charges Matheny with assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon.

The criminal complaint filed in connection with the warrant alleges that an FBI Special Agent and an investigator with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office attempted to interview Matheny in connection with the investigation of voter fraud relating to the 2010 Primary Election in Lincoln County.

Matheny allegedly brandished a handgun and threatened to kill the agent and the investigator.

Following his arrest, Matheny was lodged in the South Central Regional Jail.

He is expected to make an initial appearance in U.S. District in Charleston Wednesday morning.


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