They were married just three months when Patricia Price was executed with three of her co-workers at Taco Bell on Riverside drive on January 30, 1994.
It’s been 26 years since the horrific Taco Bell murders and Michael Price and other victim families came to court Tuesday, June 30 for the hearing of Courtney B. Mathews.
Mathews is serving four consecutive life without parole sentences for the first-degree murders and especially aggravated robbery of Kevin Campbell, Angela Wyatt, Patricia Price, and Marsha Klopp.
He’s appealed the case multiple times in over two decades and the Tennessee Court of Appeals sent his case back to circuit court to discuss a motion for a new trial. His convictions will stand.
“It’s a hurtful feeling,” Michael Price said. “… It’s like reliving it all over again. I hope they don’t see fit to give him a new trial.”
Mathews and his attorney Luke Evans appeared before retired Judge Don Ash to set a schedule for future procedures. A deadline to file the motion for a new trial was set for Jan. 1, 2021 as well as several dates to respond and file paperwork.
Courtney B. Mathews in Judge Don Ash’s court.
The hearing for the motion for a new trial is scheduled for April 12-14, 2021.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals sent the case back to circuit court based on things that happened due to attorney misconduct that occurred after the murder trial, but before Mathews file a motion for a new trial.
These misconducts included: an ex parte communication between the trial judge and trial counsel that took place at the trial judge’s residence; (2) trial counsels’ inadvertent disclosure of the unredacted timeline to the co-defendant’s defense team that contained attorney-client privileged information; (3) the lack of any jury instructions on lesser-included offenses for the felony murder counts; (4) the Petitioner’s alleged absence during the issuance of the supplemental jury instruction on criminal responsibility and when the trial judge answered jury questions; and (5) cumulative error.
The victim’s families met with prosecutor Art Bieber, assistant district attorney, after the hearing and discussed the next steps, gave updated information and listened to their questions.
Family members meet with Assistant District Attorney Art Bieber to discuss the Mathews case.
The families left the courthouse with sadness etched in their faces.
It’s impossible for time to heal especially when the wound is repeatedly reopened in court, yet Price, who wore a T-shirt with “RIP Patricia Price” on the front and the word “Justice” embossed on the back, said he’d continue to show up to represent the energetic, positive, helpful, kind and friendly woman who was his wife.
“I want to see it through for the love I had for her.” Michael Price said as he left the courthouse.
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