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Cocaine, drugs caused Coffee County mayor’s death



COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – New insight from the Medical Examiner’s Office is offering the Coffee County community answers about the death of beloved County Mayor Judd Matheny.

The day before his death, Matheny posted one of his signature “Mayor’s Message” videos to YouTube, showcasing the work of Coffee County Director of Probation Linda Baker.

The next day, on April 2, investigators found Matheny in the back of his car parked in his driveway after he didn’t show up for work. The Coffee County Chief of Staff told law enforcement he had talked to Matheny around 6 p.m. the day before and didn’t notice anything unusual.

Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny found dead at his home

A little over a month later, an autopsy report found that Matheny died from an accidental drug overdose, noting mixed cocaine, ethanol, and mitragynine toxicity. The combination of ethanol and mitragynine is commonly known as Kratom. The report noted a blood alcohol content of .045, and added that hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were contributing factors.

“I think he really wanted to help and that’s what a lot of times we lack in this day and age. It’s all about politics, but I think he wanted to help and do the right thing, and I really appreciated that in him,” said District 7 Coffee County Commissioner Jackie A. Duncan.

Prior to his term as mayor, Matheny also served in the House of Representatives from 2002 to 2018.

During the first county commission meeting after his death, now-Interim Mayor Dennis Hunt talked about Matheny’s mark on Coffee County.

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“I think 60,000 citizens now are a train moving forward; the track we’re on was chosen by the late mayor Judd Matheny,” Hunt said.

Commissioners noted a new animal control facility is in the works, a project the county had needed for years that is now getting built thanks to Matheny.

“He takes the ball and runs with it when he has an idea, has a thought that needs addressing,” Duncan said. “And he really was a blessing to this community, yes.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WKRN News 2.

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