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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Judge Hikes Gun Charge Bond For Domestic Abuser From $5,000 To $100,000 As Prosecutors Reach Out To Previous Victims

James Mather was fitted with an electronic monitoring device after his bond amount was increased and he made bail.

James Mather (inset) with the weapons police found in his home, despite having two pending domestic battery cases. He was released after posting $500 bail.
Chicago Police Department
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WICKER PARK — James Mather, who was recently allowed to plead guilty to one count of simple battery despite facing two domestic battery charges against two different women, had his bond increased in a pending gun case.

The bond increase — 20 times higher than a judge initially set — came just days after Block Club Chicago began inquiring about Mather’s case.

After being arrested August 9, Mather was able to get out of jail by posting $500 — 10 percent of a $5,000 bond set by Cook County Judge Arthur Willis.

The bond amount was publicly criticized by Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi in an Aug. 15 tweet that showed a cache of weapons allegedly seized from the 33-year-old Mather.

“Is this the Chicago you want? For $500, you could walk out of jail after being arrested for possession of this arsenal,” the top police spokesman posted?

On Oct. 9, days after first being questioned by Block Club Chicago about Mather, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a motion to increase Mather’s bond. A judge complied, increasing it by 20 times to $100,000.

Mather then had to pay $9,500 (ten percent minus the $500 he had previously paid) and was fitted with an electronic monitoring device.

His bond was paid by his mother the following day, according to court records. Mather was also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation at Cermak Hospital, located within the grounds of Cook County Jail, because “defendant has reported he is suffering from anger management, PTSD and possible other mental health issues,” according to a health care order issued by the court.

Cook County State’s Attorney Spokesperson Tandra Simonton said the assistant state’s attorney assigned to Mather’s gun case “asked the court to reconsider bail because she had new information related to his previous domestic violence cases and information about how police were able to get probable cause warrant.”

Mather was facing one count of felony possession of a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner ID as well as five misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor possession of exploding bullets, misdemeanor possession of anabolic steroids and a city violation of possessing a firearm silencer.

 According to court records, those charges were upgraded Oct. 6. Mather is facing six counts of a felony possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card. It’s a Class 3 felony which can result in a prison sentence between 2 and 5 years, or probation. The maximum fine for an Illinois Class 3 felony conviction is $25,000.

Amy Pudlo, who detailed a history of domestic abuse and violence by Mather against her to Block Club Chicago, said that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office contacted her Wednesday about Mather’s pending case and was asked to provide them with “everything she had” regarding her case.

Another woman who pressed abuse charges against Mather also said she was contacted by prosecutors after her account was detailed by Block Club.

Asked why prosecutors reached out to the women in recent days, Simonton said it “could be” used to present to a judge when considering sentencing if Mather is found guilty. 

Mather is scheduled to appear in court in Branch 50, located in Skokie, 10 a.m. on Oct. 18.

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