Man involved in Mattoon apartment shootout with police appears in court

2009-09-25T23:30:00Z Man involved in Mattoon apartment shootout with police appears in courtBy HERB MEEKER - H&R Staff Writer
September 25, 2009 11:30 pm  • 

CHARLESTON - Judge Theresa Righter offered a bond opportunity Friday to a Shelbyville man accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend and holding law officers at gunpoint before a Sept. 5 shootout in Mattoon Sunrise Apartments.

Bond was set at $150,000 for Matthew D. Thomas, 27, who faces three Class X felony charges from the confrontation, in which he was wounded four times in an exchange of gunfire with Mattoon Police officers.

Thomas is charged with three counts of home invasion that accuse him of forcing his way into the apartment at 1817 S. Ninth St. where his girlfriend, Lindsey Tucker, lived with their two children, who were home at the time. Records show Thomas is the father of both children.

No one else was wounded by gunfire, but Thomas also is accused of hitting or kicking Tucker in the head and ribs. Her nose was broken during the break-in, based on her statements to police investigators.

Those factors were part of rules added to the possibility of release on bail for Thomas. Righter ordered that if Thomas posts bail, 10 percent of the bond total, he must comply with electronic home monitoring, avoid any contact with Tucker and not come within 500 yards of Sunrise Apartments.

Coles County State's Attorney Steve Ferguson asked for bond as high as $1.5 million, noting the "incredibly dangerous situation" with possession and use of a firearm and the mental state of the defendant, which Ferguson said was based on Thomas' statements that day that he would kill himself. Ferguson also requested the electronic monitoring and no-contact requirements with Tucker.

Defense attorney Walter Lookofsky argued Ferguson's bond request "denies bond entirely" even with the option for posting 10 percent of the total. Lookofsky claimed his client was unemployed, and his family has limited means. The attorney also said his client is facing a long recovery for his four gunshot wounds, including a shattered arm, an injured leg and wounds in his torso and neck.

"I don't think he could lift or fire a gun or weapon if he wanted to," Lookofsky said.

Testimony by Mattoon police officer John Hedges and Deputy Police Chief Jeff Branson helped establish probable cause for continuing the prosecution against Thomas.

Righter overruled Lookofsky's objections that the prosecution had not established its case. The defense attorney claimed the officers' statements amounted to hearsay, not fact determined by officers involved in the confrontation.

A jury trial is set for Dec. 1 in Coles County Circuit Court.|238-6869

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.