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Press Release

Judge Sentences Career Offender To 50 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Homestead, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to 50 years in prison on his conviction of violating various federal laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence on Jay Mathis, 46.

According to information presented to the court, Mathis was convicted at two separate trials on one count of attempted bank robbery, one count of attempted armed bank robbery, two counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, two counts of using, carrying and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of Hobbs Act Robbery.

Mathis was suspected of carrying out a six-month crime spree that began with the robbery on Jan. 8, 2009, of the National City Bank on Walnut Street in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh, and ended with the robbery of the Courtyard Marriot at the Waterfront in Homestead which occurred on June 19, 2009.

During the robbery of the National City Bank, Mathis walked towards an off-duty police officer working as a security guard within the bank and pulled out a black and silver gun. As the officer drew his weapon, Mathis retreated out of the bank and headed towards Myrtle Way. The officer chased Mathis, telling him to stop. Mathis fired three shots in the officer’s direction, and the officer returned fire twice. The officer then attempted to take cover as Mathis, still running, fired several more rounds. Mathis got into a small silver vehicle and drove off.

During the robbery of the Courtyard Marriot, Mathis pointed a small black revolver at the desk clerk and demanded money. The clerk placed the cash drawer on the counter and Mathis took approximately $221.00. After leaving the hotel, Mathis led police officers on a high speed chase and fired two rounds of ammunition at the police vehicle behind him, the first one hitting the police car’s windshield and causing the officer to duck down and swerve off the road onto an embankment.

Throughout the duration of the six-month crime spree, Mathis was suspected of committing seven other robberies at various banks, a Subway restaurant, and a McDonald's restaurant.

Updated July 14, 2015