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Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
Tuesday, January 27, 1998
“I can’t remember that so I can’t deny it,” Matthews said.
Matthews, 36, is on trial in Yadkin Superior Court on charges of first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury.
He is accused of killing Everette Lee Kerley, and wounding his father, Jerry Mac Matthews Sr. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
Kerley and Matthews Sr. were shot in the parking lot of the Western Steer Steakhouse. Kerley, 45, died there. Matthews, 60, is blind as a result of the shooting.
Sgt. D.K. Talley of the Yadkinville Police Department and three other witnesses testified last week that the younger Matthews confessed to shooting both men.
Matthews Jr. testified yesterday that he remembered going to a drugstore to get a prescription refilled and cashing a $30 check from his father. He said he recalled going to a sporting-goods shop in East Bend to buy bullets and a holster for a .357 Magnum pistol, which he said belonged to his wife.
Matthews said he went to another store and bought a six pack of beer and later talked to two friends. Matthews said he also remembered cleaning tires on a car. “I have no memory until I was in jail,” he said.
Matthews testified that his parents physically abused him as a child, and that his father molested him when he was 3 years old.
Matthews said he loved his father then and loves his father now. He said he had a good relationship with Kerley, who had told him that his father loved him.
Matthews Jr. said he disapproved of his father’s relationship with Kerley but eventually learned to accept it.
Earlier, a psychiatrist testified that Matthews Jr. may have been under the influence of Xanax, a drug to treat anxiety, at the time of the shooting. Dr. Jason Crandell of Clemmons testified that the drug may have impaired Matthews’ memory and behavior but that he still could have formed the intent to shoot the two men.
Crandell said that Matthews may have acted in a jealous rage because he resented his father’s relationship with Kerley and shot both men as a result of his use of Xanax.
“Jerry is a fellow with a lot of anger,” Crandell said. “He repressed it and held it in. The Xanax may have caused him to release that anger.”
With the jury out of the courtroom, Matthews said he had taken up to 270 tablets of Xanax and Prozac from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24, 1996.
Dr. James S. Campbell testified that he prescribed the drugs for Matthews on Sept. 27, 1996, after he determined that Matthews was depressed and anxious. He said he learned later that Matthews was taking four times the prescribed dose.