Charges filed in DA office burglary
Medford man accused of breaking into courthouse to steal DA case files
BY BRIAN WILSON
Matthew Mayotte, 42, of Medford, is facing more than 20 years in prison and up to $65,000 in fines for illegally entering the District Attorney’s office at the Taylor County Courthouse, stealing case files and damaging the courthouse clock.
Mayotte faces two felony counts and three misdemeanor counts stemming from an incident that occurred on September 6. Charges were filed last week by special prosecutor Mark Fuhr of Phillips after Mayotte’s attorney filed a motion to either have charges filed or his client released. Mayotte had been in jail awaiting charges on a $10,000 cash bond since September 16.
See BURGLARY On October 17, the bond was reduced to $500 cash bond and $5,000 signature bond with the stipulation that Mayotte must reside at his parent’s residence in Medford and maintain absolute sobriety.
According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 14, Jeremy Mayotte contacted the Sheriff’s Office reporting that his brother, Matthew Mayotte, the defendant, had access to the Taylor County Courthouse, Jeremy said Matthew stole a set of keys from District Attorney Kristi Tlusty and since that time, Matthew has gone to the top of the courthouse and changed the time on the tower clock; that Matthew took “selfie” photographs of himself on his cellular phone while he was up in the clock tower/dome of the courthouse; Jeremy said Matthew was currently at his house drunk and he is also on bond.
Upon investigation by Medford Police officer Matt Hoops it was found that Taylor County District Attorney’s office employee, Amy Merrill, lost her keys at the courthouse on September 5 and that case files on a previous felony charge against Mayotte were missing.
In addition, surveillance video of the courthouse showed someone entering in the DA’s office emptyhanded at 3:35 a.m. and then leaving carrying case files.
On Sept. 14, law enforcement officers served a search warrant on Matthew Mayotte’s residence. Upon entering the residence, Mayotte was taken into custody with officers noting he was intoxicated and that in his room there were open bottles of Fireball whiskey and Jack Daniels whiskey and Mayotte smelled of intoxicants. It was noted in the complaint that Mayotte’s roommate admitted he knew about Mayotte having a set of keys belonging to the district attorney’s office. Mayotte’s girlfriend also reported knowing Mayotte had found a set of keys outside the courthouse and had used them to enter the courthouse and the district attorney’s office and take his own and another person’s case files. She said Mayotte then burned the files in a back yard fire pit.
Law enforcement officers searched the fire pit and and located the remnants of burnt court records with case numbers matching a restitution file that was missing from Merrill’s office.
Law enforcement also reviewed the Courthouse complex surveillance video from the early morning hours of Sept. 6, and learned the following: 2:52 a.m., a subject entered the building using the north entrance which would have required a key fob, At 3:19 the intruder showed up again on the videos outside the restroom on the third floor near the door leading to the dome/clock tower. Based on the timeline and damage to the clock tower, it is believed the subject was exiting the dome at this time and had spent about 17 minutes in that location between 2:52 a.m., and 3:19 a.m.; the subject then walks away from the area. At 3:20 a.m., the subject is walking down the hallway towards the D.A.’s office from the courtroom lobby area and does not have anything in his possession. At 3:35 a.m. , the subject is walking down the hallway towards the courtroom lobby area from the D.A.’s office, but was now carrying files. A search of the clothing in Mayotte’s residence resulted in law enforcement finding a sweatshirt that had the same markings as the individual in the video.
Merrill told officers that her keys went missing on September 5 noting she used them to access her office when she arrived at work that morning and she realized that she did not have them after going outside in mid-morning to smoke a cigarette. She told officers that there were two keys and one key fob on the black carabineer. One key was for the D.A.’s Office main entrance door and the other key was for the fitness room and that “DA” and “DO NOT DUPLICATE” were stamped into the D.A.’s office key.
Taylor County maintenance director Jeff Ludwig confirmed that Merrill had used the fob to enter the building at about 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 5 and that the next time the fob was used was around 2:50 a.m. on Sept, 6. Ludwig also reported on the damage to the clock tower. A central motor drives four different drive shafts in the tower, one drive shaft for each of the four clocks. He said three of the shafts were completely stripped out and damaged. He said the suspect had to have been manually turning and twisting the drive shafts which caused the drive shafts to strip out.
Mayotte faces the following counts: Burglary of the building for “enter[ing] a building, Taylor County District Attorney’s Office, without the consent of the person in lawful possession of the place, and with intent to steal. The class F felony carries a penalty of up to $25,000 and/or up to 12 years, six months in prison.
Felony bail jumping for failing to follow the terms of his bond from a previous felony charge. The is a class H felony carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to six years in prison.
Misdemeanor theft for intentionally taking and carrying away the movable property of Taylor County District Attorney, without consent and with intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of the property. The class A Misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to nine months imprisonment.
Criminal damage to property for setting fire to the district attorney’s case files. The class A Misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to nine months imprisonment.
Criminal damage to property for damage to the courthouse clock tower. The class A Misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to nine months imprisonment.
Judge Anne Knox-Bauer recused herself from the case because District Attorney Kristi Tlusty is a victim. Judge Kevin Klein will be handling the case. Likewise, Fuhr, the Price County District Attorney is serving as special prosecutor in place of Tlusty.