White supremacist gets supervised probation for bringing gun to Davenport school grounds

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A 54-year-old man who brought a gun to Davenport school grounds — while distributing white supremacist recruitment fliers — was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and a five-year suspended incarceration in Scott County Court on June 28th, 2018.

Judge Henry Latham told James Lee Mathias that he had committed a serious offense and clearly violated the law by carrying a gun as he distributed the fliers in the Brady Street parking lot during a high school football game on the night of September 22nd, 2017.

“I don’t accept that it was accidental,” said Latham. “I acknowledge you didn’t make an overt threat. Nevertheless, it’s a serious violation.”

He denied Mathias’ request for deferred judgement on the grounds that he had already been given one in a previous felony judgement.

Mathias also had multiple prior interactions with law enforcement related to weapons, in addition to interference with official acts, added Scott County Assistant Attorney Amy Devine. She said that Mathias refused to comply with even the simplest laws, like not driving with a suspended license.

“The defendant has expressed no regret or remorse,” said Devine.

Latham said he believes three years of supervised probation “will provide direction and help in coming to grips with how to comply with laws in this community.”

The probation requires that Mathias abstain from controlled substances and alcohol, submit to drug testing and a DNA test, and maintain employment.

Latham also required that Mathias undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through with treatment.

Mathias will also have to pay a fine of $750.

Mathias’ court-appointed attorney, Ryan Beckenbaugh, maintained his defense that his client had done nothing but comply with the officer who asked him about the flier distribution, and if he had not done so, his gun would never have been revealed in his waistband.

“I’ll accept the court’s judgement and cooperate in resolving this,” said Mathias, in his only response during the sentencing. He refused further comment to the media through Beckenbaugh.

UPDATE: On June 29th, 2018, Mathias’ attorney Ryan Beckenbaugh filed for an appeal.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Mathias’ sentence. He was sentenced to five years of supervised probation and three years of suspended prison time, not three years of supervised probation and five years of suspended prison time.