A Boone County judge hit a member of the Aryan Brotherhood with six years in prison and two more on probation after the man admitted to beating a Muslim inmate because of religious differences.
Michael D. Mathis, 25, of Lebanon, ruled A block, Muslim inmates reportedly told police after Mathis injured a 54-year-old Zionsville man who was an inmate Dec. 29.
Mathis confronted Muslim inmates he thought spread rumors about his affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood, a prison gang, and told jail staff he knocked the man out after the man sucker punched him, Boone County Jail investigator Caleb Collier reported.
Mathis and his victim were treated at Witham Hospital in Lebanon, Mathis for a strained neck muscle, his victim for a facial laceration, fractured left orbital floor, sprained right thumb, left temporomandibular joint contusion and right shin abrasion, according to court records.
Witnesses, including Mathis, said Mathis started the fight because of his victim’s religious preference, according to court records.
Mathis was in jail at the time after being the subject of a three-day manhunt and two police chases, the second of which ended in his arrest in November 2018. Police said Mathis rammed a police squad car with a stolen car he was driving.
Mathis pleaded guilty this month to battery resulting in serious bodily injury in the jail fight. One count of disorderly conduct was dismissed in that case.
He pleaded guilty in the November 2018 cases to three counts of resisting law enforcement, while numerous charges, including auto theft, were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.
Kincaid sentenced Mathis to two years with the Indiana Department of Correction for one count of resisting law enforcement and four years with the DOC for another count of resisting law enforcement. Two of the four years for that count were a result of Mathis being found to be a habitual offender.
Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Jennings sought habitual offender status for Mathis because of his previous convictions.
Kincaid also sentenced Mathis to one year in the Boone County Jail for one count of resisting law enforcement and another year in jail for battering another inmate. But he suspended those two years in favor of probation. If Mathis fails to meet the terms of his probation, the jail time could be reinstated.
Sentences for each charge will run consecutively to the other, meaning, he will serve them one at a time and no time will overlap. Also, Kincaid did not suspend any of Mathis’ prison sentence.
Mathis was convicted of intimidation in 2017 and of auto theft/receiving stolen auto parts in ‘15 in Boone County.