Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington) – In a significant development, a Mount Laurel man who had been charged with harassing and using racial slurs against his neighbors has recently pleaded guilty to four counts of Bias Intimidation (Fourth Degree). The announcement was made by Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw, who revealed that Edward C. Mathews, 47, formerly of Grammercy Way, has also admitted guilt in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute (Second Degree). Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Mathews is set to receive an eight-year prison sentence for these offenses. The plea was officially entered yesterday in Mount Holly before the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., who has scheduled the sentencing for December 8.
The charges against Mathews are a result of his mistreatment of five former neighbors, and the drug offense came to light after a search of his residence uncovered numerous psilocin mushrooms, known for their hallucinogenic effects. The investigation into Mathews’ actions began on July 2, 2021, when a resident approached the Mount Laurel Police Department to file a harassment complaint against him. Shortly after, a police officer responded to a Coventry Way residence on the same day, following a report of a male causing trouble in the area. Upon arrival, the officer found Mathews engaged in a verbal altercation with four residents, during which he was heard using racial slurs.
Further investigation into the matter revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse by Mathews towards his neighbors, including the act of leaving a threatening note on one of their vehicles. The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Mount Laurel Police Department led the investigation, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The primary investigators on the case were BCPO Detective Sgt. Daniel Schules and MLPD Detective Luis Amaro. Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson is responsible for prosecuting Mathews.
The guilty plea and subsequent sentencing highlight the severity of Mathews’ actions and send a clear message that bias intimidation and harassment will not be tolerated in the community. The eight-year prison term reflects the gravity of the offenses committed and serves as a deterrent against similar behavior in the future. As the legal proceedings continue, the residents of Mount Laurel hope for justice to be served and for their community to heal from the trauma caused by Mathews’ actions.
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