A Lincoln County man who pulled a gun on two government agents during an election fraud investigation will spend eight years in prison.
In May, James A. Matheny, 62, of Midkiff was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and using a deadly weapon during and in relation to a crime of violence.
At his trial, Matheny testified that the agents, from the FBI and the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office, scared him when they drove up to his rural home on Feb. 28. He said they were driving an unmarked car and didn't identify themselves.
The agents were investigating election fraud in Lincoln County, an effort that has resulted in the conviction of the county sheriff Jerry Bowman and county clerk Donald Whitten. Bowman is serving one year and Whitten is serving 18 months in federal prison.
They pleaded guilty to the charges against them and agreed to resign their positions. They were charged with attempting to flood the election with absentee ballots, some turned in on behalf of deceased residents.
Matheny threatened FBI agent Todd Berry and Secretary of State's Office investigator Jim Wise when they attempted to question him about the 2010 Democratic primary.
Prosecutors presented evidence at the trial that when he was presented documents concerning the election, he drew a pistol and threatened to kill them. Both investigators were unharmed.United States District Attorney Booth Goodwin said, "We owe it to our law enforcement officers to do everything we can to protect them on the job. We've seen too many tragic, senseless law enforcement deaths in situations just like this: routine encounters that suddenly turn out violent."