Expectant mother charged with running over, killing husband - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Expectant mother charged with running over, killing husband

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Thaddius Thomas (Source: LMDC) Thaddius Thomas (Source: LMDC)
Toya Mathis Toya Mathis
Toya Mathis (Source: LMDC) Toya Mathis (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Shawnee woman may be days away from delivering the baby of the man she's accused of killing. Louisville Metro Police say she ran over her husband outside an East End restaurant and family gaming center.

But family and friends said she may have feared for her life, after a history of involvement with volatile men.

Anita Gardner will never believe that her friend Toya Denise Mathis, would ever be capable of violence, unless it was in self-defense.

"That woman did not have a cruel bone in her body," Gardner said. "She's not that type of person. She's not a killer."

But police and prosecutors allege Mathis ran over her husband, Thaddius Thomas, 31, in the parking lot of Incredible Dave's restaurant and family gaming center, located off of Westport Road, late Monday evening.

"She had to be in fear; that's not her," Gardner said.

Mathis' mother said her daughter had gone to Incredible Dave's to retrieve Thomas after employees called to ask for help.

"He'd been drinking, he was belligerent, he was refusing to leave," Mathis' mother said.

But Mathis' arrest report states she "intentionally struck (Thomas), who was standing in the parking lot. The impact caused the victim to strike the front of the car and to land on the parking lot."

Thomas was taken to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. He died Tuesday and prosecutors upgraded Mathis' charges from assault to murder.

"I'm sorry for the family that lost this young man, so sorry," Gardner said. "But in my eyes, she is the victim."

Court records show Thomas had been in and out of jail since he was 19 years old. Possession of cocaine, marijuana and a deadly weapon kept him in prison for four years. A parole violation a year later put him back in prison for another two years. New charges for drugs and weapons sent him to prison again in 2010, but he was paroled just before Thanksgiving of 2013.

Mathis is pregnant with Thomas' child and is due to deliver any day now, her mother said.

"We don't want her to have that baby girl in prison," her mother said. "We need to get her out."

Gardner said she became friends with Mathis two years ago when she moved into the Shawnee neighborhood to escape an abusive boyfriend.

"I know she was in fear when she came here, because she spoke of it," Gardner said. "I know that she had been beaten. She was missing part of her hair. But she was started to get things back together," she said.

Mathis has a 12-year-old son from a prior relationship, her mother said. The child now is in his father's custody.

Mathis shuddered and sighed in jail court Wednesday morning, upon hearing her bond had been raised to $500,000. Her next court appearance is May 30.

Gardner is determined to help Mathis family raise bail, in part to ensure Mathis doesn't deliver her child while in custody.

"She's not gonna harm anyone," Gardner said. "A lot of things happen. But some things shouldn't happen to certain people."

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