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Benjamin C. Matthews
Benjamin C. Matthews

     The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a rural Mountain Home man, 39 year old BENJAMIN CRAIG MATTHEWS, on charges of Terroristic Threatening and Harassing Communications based upon a complaint received by the Atlanta, Georgia Police Department.

     On November 2nd, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by an Investigator with the Atlanta Police Department who is assigned to the Homeland Security Investigation Unit.  The Investigator stated they had taken a complaint report from the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta that telephone calls had been received at CNN Headquarters making threats against CNN staff between October 31st  and November 2nd.  The content of these calls ranged from general harassment, threat of bodily injury, and calls threatening the life of a CNN journalist.   More than 40 such calls had been received by CNN from the same person.

     Information obtained by the Atlanta PD Investigator indicated that all of these calls had been made from a cell phone belonging to BENJAMIN MATTHEWS of Mountain Home, Arkansas.  Audio recordings of the calls indicated they were all made by the same person.  Someone who has personal knowledge of BENJAMIN MATTHEWS listened to the recordings and attested to the fact that it was the voice of BENJAMIN MATTHEWS.  Additional investigation found that MATTHEWS had made other recent phone calls to another television network, as well as to various public officials and organizations.

     Based upon this evidence, Baxter County Sheriff’s Investigators obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of BENJAMIN MATTHEWS on November 6th.  MATTHEWS was taken into custody and transported to the Baxter County Detention Center where he was booked yesterday afternoon on charges of:

Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree (5 counts) – Felonies
Terroristic Threatening in the Second Degree (4 counts) – Misdemeanors
Harassing Communications (9 counts) – Misdemeanors

     BENJAMIN MATTHEWS remains in custody with a bond set of $15,000, and he is scheduled to appear before the Baxter County Circuit Court to answer tomorrow morning, November 8th.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff