Attorneys try to plant doubt in testimony during Johnson City robbery case proceedings

Becky Campbell • Jul 30, 2013 at 9:15 AM

A woman testified that two men robbed her of $35 and threatened to “slice my throat” when they approached her car July 15 after she pulled over to pick up a lighter she’d dropped in her floorboard.

The testimony came from Carol Mathes, who said the two black men – later identified as William McAllister, 31, and Arthur Bass, 53, — walked up to her car and reached into her vehicle to restrain her and take money from her pocket.

McAllister and Bass are charged with robbery and the case was bound over to a Washington County grand jury Monday after Sessions Court Judge Don Arnold listened to Mathes’ testimony.

Mathes said her car window was down as she traveled on Main Street in Johnson City a little after midnight July 15 and she described the area between Watauga Avenue and Boone Street as the location she pulled over. She testified the two men, one wearing overalls and the other with a white T-shirt on, approached her car.

She said the men asked where her money was as Bass reached in and wrapped his right arm around her throat and pulled her by the hair with his left hand while McAllister reached into her right pants pocket.

Mathes said she grabbed her keys from the ignition and attempted to press the panic button, expecting a loud siren, but it didn’t work. One of them grabbed the keys from her.

One of the men “cussed me and told me if I didn’t shut up he would slice my throat,” Mathes said. She testified she was afraid the men would kill her.

On cross examination by McAllister’s attorney, Bill McManus, Mathes was asked her about the logistics of how Bass grabbed her and how was it possible he reached into the driver’s window and put his right arm around her neck.

“Weren’t the men, in fact, in the back seat?” McManus asked. “They were in the car earlier.”

Mathes denied knowing McAllister or Bass and the allegation they were sitting in her car at any time.

After the robbery, the woman said she drove down the street because she saw blue lights ahead of her. Johnson City Police Officer Jackie Holleman put out a description of the suspects over the police radio and Bass and McAllister were apprehended within minutes. Mathes testified police told her that one of the men had $35 in his pocket.

After Mathes’ testimony, Bass’ attorney, Chris Byrd, told Arnold there was too many discrepancies between what Mathes told police and what she testified about. Arnold disagreed and bound the case over to a grand jury. He also and ordered the men’s bonds would remain at $50,000 each. They have a Criminal Court appearance in September.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos