By: Richard L. Smith
Edward C. Mathews, a 47-year-old former resident of Grammercy Way in Mount Laurel, has entered a guilty plea to multiple charges, including Bias Intimidation and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute.
Mathews pled guilty to four counts of Bias Intimidation (Fourth Degree) and the drug-related charge (Second Degree) in an agreement reached with the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
As part of the agreement, Mathews is set to receive an eight-year prison sentence for these offenses.
The plea was formally entered during a hearing held in Mount Holly before the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., who scheduled the sentencing for December 8.
These charges stemmed from Mathews' mistreatment of five former neighbors, which included harassment and the use of racial slurs.
Additionally, he faced drug-related charges after psilocin mushrooms, known for their hallucinogenic properties, were discovered during a search of his residence.
The investigation into Mathews' actions began on July 2, 2021, following a harassment complaint filed by one of his neighbors at the Mount Laurel Police Department.
Shortly after, on the same day, a Mount Laurel police officer responded to an incident on Coventry Way, where Mathews was involved in a verbal altercation with four residents, during which he used racial slurs.
Further investigation revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse by Mathews against his neighbors, including leaving a threatening note on one of their vehicles.
This comprehensive investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Mount Laurel Police Department, with additional assistance from the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation. Leading the efforts were BCPO Detective Sgt. Daniel Schules and MLPD Detective Luis Amaro.