Trial continues in murder of Taylor officer

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Wayne County assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens presented multiple witnesses and pieces of evidence as the trial of man accused of murdering a police officer continued.

The case against Tyress Thearndos Mathews resumes this week in Wayne County Circuit Court; Mathews is charged with the shooting death of Taylor Police Cpl. Matthew Edwards on July 23, 2010.

Witnesses who testified last week included Edwards’ partner, Cpl. Gregory Piche. The two responded last year to a breaking-and-entering report from the Coppertree apartment complex in the 1200 block of Pine.

Police and prosecutors allege that the two officers encountered Mathews in the parking lot, who said he was trying to get his keys from his estranged wife, a resident of the apartment complex. When Piche went to speak with the woman, witnesses testified that Mathews took a pistol from a book bag and shot Edwards several times.

Piche testified last week that he witnessed Mathews shooting Edwards.

Piche and Mathews exchanged gunfire, during which it is alleged that Mathews was injured and fell to the ground. It was there that he was apprehended by other officers responding to the call, and taken into custody.

Testimony continued on Thursday with statements from Michigan State Police Sgt. Kathleen Lewis, a latent fingerprint analyst, and Michigan State Police Sgt. Kevin Lucidi, a forensic expert assigned to reconstruct the evidence at the scene. Evidence collected at the scene and described by Lewis and Lucid included 29 shell casings, numerous cans of beer and fingerprints taken from the window of Mathews’ wife’s apartment.

Mathews faces life in prison if convicted of premeditated first-degree murder. Additional charges include murder of a peace officer, a felony punishable by life in prison; assault with intent to murder, a felony punishable by life or any terms of years; felon in possession, a five-year felony; felony firearm, a two-year mandatory crime; and as a habitual offender, punishable by life in prison.

(James Mitchell can be reached at