Tulsa Murder Suspect Expected To Plead No Contest

Tuesday, May 25th 2010, 5:22 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6   

TULSA, OK -- The man accused of driving into a crowd and killing two people is expected to enter a plea during a court hearing on Wednesday.

Andrew Mathis was supposed to stand trial for murder. His attorney now says he will plead no contest Wednesday and a district court judge will decide his punishment.

3/25/2009 Related Story: Andrew Mathis Bound Over For Trial

Dennis Cox's family says he was in town celebrating his brother's wedding.

Carlos Lopez's family says he was a combat veteran, who ran to an unconscious man's aid.

"He came back a hero, and unfortunately he had to die as one too," said David Lopez.

Both were killed Halloween night in 2008, when prosecutors say Andrew Mathis drove his car into a crowd of people. Five others were injured.

A year-and-a-half later, Mathis is expected to bring the criminal case to an end. His attorney says the 26-year-old will plead no contest.

Mathis doesn't have a deal with prosecutors, so he doesn't know what punishment he might receive. But it will spare the victims' families from going through a criminal trial.

"We're just happy for them," said Paul Boudreaux, victim's attorney. "And I know that they're happy that they don't have to go through this as it relates to the criminal aspect of this case."

The criminal case may soon be over, but the events of that Halloween night still linger. And the families of those who died are still suing Mathis for negligence.

"We'll never see him again," Lillian Lopez, victim's sister. "And when you realize that over and over again that he's never going to be here again, it's just something you can never get over."

Plaintiffs' attorneys say with the criminal case almost over, the civil case will be able to move forward. They're also suing the bar they believe continued to serve Mathis, when he was already intoxicated.