Following his guilty plea earlier this year, a New Jersey man, Edward Mathews whose racist tirade went viral back in 2021 was given an eight-year prison sentence for harassing and uttering racial slurs towards his neighbors.
Mount Laurel resident Edward Matthews, 47, was sentenced on Friday. In October, he entered a guilty plea to four charges of bias intimidation and possession of a dangerous controlled substance to distribute it.
When a video of Edward Mathews’ racist tirade went viral over two years ago, it caused uproar in his Mount Laurel neighborhood.
On July 2, 2021, a resident went to the Mount Laurel Police Department to report Mathews for harassment, which sparked the start of the investigation against him.
Not too long afterward, a Mount Laurel police officer was called to a residence regarding a man who was allegedly in need of removal from the area.
Judge Gerard H. Breland of the Superior Court sentenced Mathews to a minimum of four years before being considered for parole.
Edward Mathews was charged with threatening neighbors in Essex Place a condominium connection in Mount Laurel, a case that garnered national attention. He allegedly sent threatening emails and letters, called Black residents “monkeys,” scattered feces on their property, and fired BB pellets at their cars, according to the authorities.
According to the prosecution, Mathews terrorized Black neighbors and board members of condo associations starting in 2020. Police received complaints from residents of the racially mixed community about 17 miles east of Philadelphia, but they said they never had enough proof to prosecute Mathews.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Edward Mathews apologized on Friday for his insensitive and disrespectful remarks while wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffs.
He said his wife had filed for divorce and sold their townhouse, and he was sorry for the way his actions had damaged their marriage and harmed his family.
Following the viral release of the video of the altercation, hundreds of people flocked to his house, chanting his name and demanding that he be taken into custody.
On July 5, 2021, Mathews—a construction foreman—was placed under arrest after the demonstrators surrounded his townhouse, which was situated roughly 17 miles east of Philadelphia.
Psilocin mushrooms, which are notorious for their hallucinogenic properties, were found during a search of Matthews’ home, prompting authorities to file a drug offense.
Matthews was accused of harassing his neighbors, using racial epithets, damaging their cars, and smearing feces on their windows.
Soon after the incident happened, Mathews apologized to The Inquirer and explained that his actions resulted from a long-running dispute over housing that involved the homeowners’ association. Mathews added that he was intoxicated.
Jamie Hutchinson, the assistant county prosecutor, read statements about the impact on victims from four Mount Laurel condominium association members who are now or were once residents. She claimed that their fear of reprisals kept them from appearing in court. She said that most victims were in their 60s and 70s.
Edward Mathews’ Ex-Wife’s Statements
Shannon Schwartzhoff, Edward Mathews’ ex-wife, claimed in a 2021 interview with DailyMail.com that her husband was not racist and that many of his closest friends were Black.
Schwartzhoff attributed his racist outburst to alcoholism.
She said that Mathews had been intoxicated and had been having a lot of issues with the Homeowners’ Association in the neighborhood. He is attempting to put an end to the money going missing.
Mathews was observed swearing at and spitting on his neighbor, a black Air Force service member, while also claiming to be from Africa.