News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          May 10, 2012                   


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – James A. Matheny, 61, of Midkiff, Lincoln County, W.Va. was found guilty today by a federal jury sitting in Charleston. The jury convicted Matheny of assaulting a federal officer and using a deadly weapon during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Matheny was charged in a two-count indictment in March. 

Evidence at trial proved that on February 28, 2012, Matheny was approached by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent and an investigator from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office. The investigators were probing fraud in the 2010 Lincoln County primary election. When the investigators asked Matheny if they could show him some documents concerning the election, he drew a pistol and threatened to kill them. The investigators were both veteran law enforcement officials and survived the confrontation unharmed.

“Nationwide, 162 law enforcement officers gave their lives in the line of duty last year,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. “Next week is National Police Week, so today’s verdict is well timed. Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day to keep the rest of us safe. We were reminded of that yet again last week with the shooting---thankfully, not fatal---of a West Virginia State Police member.

“Pulling a gun on a federal agent is something we will not tolerate,” Goodwin continued. “I hope this case sends a clear message that makes all of our law enforcement officers’ jobs a little bit safer.” 
Matheny faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment when he is sentenced on August 22, 2012.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States AttorneyThomas Ryan and Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby handled the prosecution. 

Click on the links below to listen to an audio sound bite from U.S. Attorney Goodwin regarding today’s trial verdict:

Goodwin part 1

Goodwin part 2

# # #


















Return to Top

Safe Schools Report

learn more


U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin In The Community

learn more

Defending Childhood

West Virginia Children Exposed to Violence Initiative

learn more

Safe Seniors

Help keep West Virginia's senior citizens safe

learn more
Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter