MOUNT LAUREL — A 15-count indictment handed up by a grand jury against a township resident arrested last summer reveals the degree to which the man allegedly terrorized his neighbors.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday that a search of Edward C. Mathews' home, following the 46-year-old's arrest stemming from an incident last July 2, yielded a slingshot and ball bearings which matched projectiles aimed at multiple damaged vehicles in Mathews' neighborhood, as well as hallucinogenic, psilocin mushrooms.

Damage done by the ball bearings was estimated at $2,350. The Mount Laurel Police Department had obtained a warrant authorizing a search of Mathews' home after a neighbor reported her suspicion that a BB gun had been used to target cars belonging to her and her daughter.

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Additional FBI analysis of Mathews' handwriting tied him to a threatening note left on a neighbor's vehicle on which feces had also been smeared, according to the BCPO release.

Mathews was originally charged after police responded on July 2, 2021 to residents' complaints that he was using racial slurs toward them. The complaints prompted a boisterous protest outside his home after many in the public felt that law enforcement was dragging its feet.

Seemingly in response to the public frustration, the county prosecutor has taken the unusual step of calling out a judge for declining the police department's request to have the suspect arrested, rather than issued a summons, on the initial charges. It was only after additional charges were filed that Mathews was taken into custody. He is currently lodged at the Burlington County Jail.

The indictment handed up last Friday charges Mathews with second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, one count each of fourth-degree stalking and criminal mischief, four counts of fourth-degree bias intimidation, and three counts of fourth-degree certain persons not to have weapons.

An exact date for Mathews' arraignment was not announced by the prosecutor's office Tuesday.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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