People react to Mathis conviction - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

People react to Mathis conviction

June 10, 2005

Albany-- Commissioner Tommie Postell watches the news closely as he finds out a friend and fellow commissioner is found guilty.

"Matter of fact I taught him in middle school and it sort of saddens me to see that type of situation occur around him," says Postell. The situation involves Mathis extorting thousands of dollars from three Albany business people and giving misleading statements to law enforcement officials.

Mathis maintians his innocence. "I'm proud of the service I've given to this community, and I'll continue to give. I'll accept my medicine and I'll take it from there and move on," says Henry Mathis. After less than two hours of deliberations, the jury found Mathis guilty on all four counts.

"It's sort of shocking that he was found guilty on all four counts. That's the shocking part," says Postell.

Postell says he feels there's more to the case than what was said in court but he admits video footage of Mathis accepting money was strong evidence. "I can see how the jurors would have felt based on photos of transactions of that but there was no verbalization," says Postell.

Citizens in Mathis' district are also reacting to the news. "Make me feel? Bad, bad," says J.T. Brown.

He feels bad about the fact that Mathis could be facing up to 51 months in prison. "Yes, because you know what? he had a lot against him," says Brown.

Those around him watched the trial from the start to find out Mathis' fate. "He seems to be in good spirits from what I see on tv there, so he was saying that he was not going to just give up like that," says Postell.

But he may soon have to give up his freedom.

Henry Mathis says he will appeal the verdict in court. Mathis is still a free man. His sentencing date hasn't been set yet.

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