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DECATUR — A Decatur man whose victim was shot in the leg as they fought over the gun during an attempted robbery was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday.

Malcolm J. Mathews, 28, pleaded guilty in Macon County Circuit Court to a charge of attempted armed robbery dating to the morning of April 1, 2017, when he accosted the victim as he was leaving his home in the 1600 block of East Whitmer Street.

Mathews was prepared to plead not guilty to the original charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, but changed his plea to the lesser charge in a deal negotiated by his attorney, Tiffany Senger. His trial had been due to start Tuesday.

Judge Thomas Griffith told Mathews the new prison sentence would run consecutively to a combined total of four years, imposed Nov. 29, that he is already serving. That sentence, two stretches of four years running concurrently, was handed down after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a gun and violating probation on a previous theft conviction.

A sworn police affidavit from the April 1 robbery described how the victim fought back when he was confronted by Mathews and another robber who fled as they struggled. The gun went off during the altercation, a bullet going through the victim's right thigh.

The affidavit said the victim managed to get control of the gun and pulled up a mask Mathews was wearing and saw his face, which he later picked out of a police photo lineup.

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Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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