June 21, 2004
Matthews pleads guilty

Former right-wing talk show host Jon Matthews has pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with a child.

Matthews, 59, who resigned from his position at KSEV-AM 700 last year, was to go to trial June 28 but decided to accept the agreement after rejecting it last week, said Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey.

In a pre-trial hearing this morning in the court of state District Judge Brady Elliott, Matthews' attorney, Stephen Doggett, said he wanted to speak with prosecutors about reconsidering the offer.

Healey said prosecutors were surprised by Matthews' decision.

"It was a possibility, but it was not anticipated," Healey said.

Matthews left the courtroom with his attorney and declined to comment.

The judge deferred the official finding of guilt and the sentencing until Aug. 2.

According to court documents, Matthews is to be placed on deferred adjudication for seven years.

Criminal defendants who successfully complete the terms of deferred adjudication avoid final conviction, but the fact that they were charged remains a part of their record.

The arrangement calls for Matthews to register as a sex offender, perform community service and move from his Sugar Land house.

Prosecutors said Matthews can no longer reside at the house on Rolling Mill because it is too close to Sugar Land Middle School. State law prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

Matthews also must make a $5,000 donation to Crime Stoppers.

He was indicted Nov. 11 on a charge alleging that he had exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl at his home on Oct. 9. He was arrested two days later and released on $10,000 bail.

There are an awful lot of snarky comments that I could be making here, and I've no doubt that were this story about a prominent liberal, Matthews would be right there on the air making them and condemning everyone remotely connected to that person, but I'll refrain from anything beyond that. Not out of any respect for Matthews, for whom I have never had any, but out of respect for the child involved. No matter how you slice it, there's nothing funny about that.

UPDATE: Today's Chron story gives more detail about the crime Matthews will plead guilty to.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 21, 2004 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack