Texarkana, TX 72° Fri H 88° L 72° Sat H 85° L 69° Sun H 88° L 72° Weather Sponsored By:

Texas appeals court affirms life sentence for child molester

Texas appeals court affirms life sentence for child molester

May 17th, 2019 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News
Jimmy Mathis

A Texas appellate court has affirmed the conviction and life sentence of a man convicted by a Bowie County jury last year of molesting a child.

Jimmy Lee Mathis, 65, was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child in August at the end of a trial before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Mathis sexually abused a 10-year-old girl who lived near him in a Texarkana, Texas, apartment complex on Main Street in 2014 and 2015.

At trial, the girl testified that Mathis befriended her mother and would give her money and trinkets. The girl said Mathis sexually assaulted her in an area outside the apartment building and threatened to kill her family if she told.

On appeal Mathis argued that testimony shouldn't have been allowed from a forensic interviewer who discussed the case with the girl at the Texarkana Children's Advocacy Center. Mathis' appeal complained that the interviewer wasn't sufficiently qualified as an expert witness but at trial, Mathis' defense lawyer objected to the interviewer's testimony as unfairly bolstering the victim's testimony.

The 6th Court of Appeals headquartered in Texarkana issued an opinion Thursday which ruled that the issue of whether the interviewer was qualified to testify as an expert wasn't raised by the defense at trial and therefore the argument had not been preserved for argument on appeal. The higher court affirmed Mathis' conviction and sentence.

Mathis, who has a lengthy criminal history, is currently serving his term at the Ramsey Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. According to the TDCJ website, Mathis will be eligible for parole May 30, 2047.

Should Mathis wish to continue to seek post-conviction relief, he can take his case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.



Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com