2 federal guilty pleas linked to police slaying

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Two defendants charged in a federal case as accessories after the fatal shooting of a Chattanooga police officer have pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.

Twenty-six-year-old James David Poteete of Antioch and the accused shooter's sister, 21-year-old Rachel Mathews, changed their not guilty pleas at a Wednesday hearing in Chattanooga.

Both pleaded guilty to two accessory counts and a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge linked to the April 2 slaying of police Sgt. Tim Chapin as officers responded to a robbery alarm at a pawn shop. Sentencing is set Nov. 14.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Mathews's brother, Jesse Mathews.

His mother and father are also in federal custody on related charges.

Poteete remains free on bond and declined comment. Rachel Mathews was returned to custody.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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