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Judge denies request to testify at murder trial

By Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge in Chattanooga has denied a request to testify in a murder trial.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, attorneys for Jesse Mathews requested the U.S. District Court Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice testify at Mathews' trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 22, 2013.

Mathews is charged with killing Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin during a pawn shop robbery last year.

Mattice earlier recused himself from hearing a motion by Mathews' attorneys that prosecutor Steve Neff testify because Neff prosecuted four people charged with helping Mathews hide from authorities.

In his letter denying the request that he testify, Mattice said he considered the request, but noted federal guidelines state judges may not testify, except in specific circumstances that he found did not exist in this case.
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