PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 48-year-old man accused of stabbing a teenager caught in a marijuana grow outside his home Tuesday afternoon entered a not guilty plea to multiple felony charges.
Gerald Mathews was arraigned Thursday afternoon on one count each of attempted murder, first-degree assault, manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school zone and three counts felon in possession of a firearm.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Portland police officer RaeLynn McKay responded to a 911 call of a man lying on the ground outside Mathews’ home in the 3100-block of Southeast 26th Avenue. Detective Arjay Dran spoke with a witness who told him she saw a man exit Mathew’s yard and collapse.
KOIN 6 News will not identify the 16-year-old victim because he is a minor.
McKay wrote in a report that she noticed the victim’s “entire head was covered in bright blood and that he appeared to have a hole in his chest and multiple stab wounds” to his back, court documents state. The victim was rushed to Oregon Health Science University with life threatening injuries. On Thursday, officials said doctors had updated the teen’s condition to serious.
While McKay and other officers surrounded the house, Mathews opened the screen door to his home and started yelling at them several times, court documents state. Mathews told police that he had come from a walk to find “kids in his house stealing his belongings,” court documents state. When McKay tried to ask Mathews for more details about what happened, he shouted an expletive towards her, court documents state.
Police noted in their reports that Mathews seemed very erratic and aggressive, court documents state. At one point during the standoff, Mathews told officers that he “would go get his guns and that he would cut up officers if they came into his home,” court documents state.
The standoff between Mathews and police lasted six hours. He finally exited the home shortly after 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
Police obtained a search warrant to enter the home and arrest Mathews. Detective Dran advised Mathews of his Miranda rights and conducted and interview with him. During the interview, Mathews made “numerous inconsistent statements,” court documents state.
Mathews initially told detectives that he had been home with his girlfriend and that he was sleeping in the basement when something woke him up, court documents state. He said that he had been up all night because he “knew” he was going to be robbed, the affidavit states. Mathews said he had “catnapped” all night because the belief he was going to be robbed, court documents state. Mathews stated he went to the bathroom and heard another noise. He came out of the bathroom and saw a black male who was “twice his size in his kitchen,” court documents state. According to police, Mathews told them that the male said, “I’m your worst nightmare.” Mathews claimed he then dove at the male, but the person cut him with a knife on the hand and that Mathews grabbed the blade and pulled it away from the alleged assailant, court documents state.
Detectives noted an injury to Mathews’ hand, but said it was inconsistent with a struggle to take away a knife, court documents state. This was the same story Mathews reportedly told his sister on the phone during the standoff.
During the interview, Mathews admitted that he stabbed the assailant in the head multiple times. Mathews claimed that, at some point, his girlfriend asked him what was going on and he told her that he had killed the assailant and he needed to call the police but couldn’t find the phone, court documents state.
As the interview was being conducted, other officers searched the home and reported there were no signs of a struggle taking place inside the home, but blood and other evidence led them to believe a struggle had occurred in the yard outside the house, court documents state.
Detectives confronted Mathews with the information at which point he changed his version of events to claim that he had walked into his backyard after noticing a side gate open, court documents state. Mathews said that he couldn’t explain why, but he had been “paranoid for a week about someone trying to break into his house,” court documents state.
Mathews told police that he had a medical marijuana grower’s card but that he didn’t want to involve marijuana plants in his story, court documents state. He went on to state that he saw a male’s face and shoulders though his marijuana plants and that the male was “little,” court documents state.
Mathews acknowledged that the male was never inside his house, court documents state. He said he went and grabbed the male, taking him to the ground. Mathews said he “made up the story about everything happening in the house,” court documents state. Mathews said the backyard intruder was a “(expletive) moron for risking his life trying to steal marijuana,” court documents state.
During the search of Mathews’ home, police found three firearms. Two of them were .22 caliber rifles. The third was a handgun, police said. Mathew is a convicted felon for attempt to elude.
Officers with the Portland Police Bureau’s Drugs and Vice Division confirmed Mathews does have a medical marijuana grower’s permit that allows him to have 6 mature marijuana plants and 18 immature plants. During the search warrant, police found 321 mature marijuana plants and 168 immature plants, court documents state. The home is located within 1,000-feet of Cleveland High School.
A not-guilty plea was entered by a court appointed attorney during Thursday’s arraignment.
– Brent Weisberg