Andrew Mathis Bound Over For Trial

Wednesday, March 25th 2009, 5:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The man accused in a Halloween hit and run that killed two people will stand trial for murder.

The preliminary hearing for Andrew Mathis started last month but didn't finish up until Wednesday.

A judge decided the case against Mathis will continue and raised his bond by $100,000. 

The victims' family and friends spilled out of the courtroom breathing a sigh of relief that Andrew Mathis is headed to trial.

For the second time, they had to listen to someone recount the events of the night that ended with two men dead and five others injured.

"The loss of my brother doesn't get any easier at all," said Lilian Lopez, sister of victim Carlos Lopez. "And I guess just hearing it, you know, it's just heartbreaking, just the way that he died."

The crash occurred Halloween night in the Brookside bar district. Police say that Mathis got into a fight and then plowed his car into a crowd of people.

Carlos Lopez and Dennis Cox were killed.

Cox, who lived in Missouri, was in town for the wedding of his brother, David Cox.

David Cox testified Wednesday that the brothers were hanging out after his rehearsal dinner. He says they were leaving a bar in Brookside when they saw a fight.

He told the court that when Dennis Cox tried to intervene, he was punched in the head, kicked in the face and "knocked out cold."

He says he was trying to revive his brother when he heard tires squealing. David Cox says when he woke up he had been thrown several feet and he saw his brother's body "lodged underneath a red Camaro."

"Witnesses recounted that a violent incident occurred beforehand and certainly the actions apparently of Mr. Mathis reflect that he violated the law in the first-degree murder," prosecutor Steve Kunzweiler said.

The defense pointed out that both Dennis and David Cox had been drinking that night and David Cox did not see the car coming or who was behind the wheel.

But other witnesses did place Mathis in the car and testified that it seemed as if the car was accelerating.

The judge found there was enough evidence to make Mathis stand trial for murder. He Mathis remains behind bars, where he has been since November.

Prosecutors did ask that he be held without bond. The judge denied that since Mathis has no prior convictions, but he did increase the bond to $625,000.

Mathis is also facing several civil lawsuits in connection to the Halloween night crash.

2/23/2009  Related Story: Andrew Mathis' Preliminary Hearing Continues