Business man matches mayor's reward in high-profile murder case



Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 19 at 12:27 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans business man stepped forward and matched Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s reward for information leading to an arrest for those responsible in the murder of Curtis Matthews, a murder that gripped in recent the city because it is believed to be in retaliation for witness testimony in a murder trial. 

Wednesday morning, businessman Scott Wolfe pledged $10,000 as a reward for the information leading to an arrest. 

A day earlier, Landrieu stood on Claiborne Avenue near Jazz Daiquiris, the family store where Matthews was killed, and pledged $10,000 of his own campaign money to bring Matthew’s killer to justice.

In a statement, Wolfe said he “stands beside the mayor in his efforts to stop this new level of criminals.”

According to authorities, Matthews was gunned down Saturday night in an act of revenge. His brother was a key eyewitness in the Telly Hankton’s murder trial.  Hankton, considered by many in local law enforcement as one of the most dangerous men in New Orleans, was found guilty in that trial.  Matthews’ brother, John, was a key witness who testified against Hankton.

John Matthews nearly didn’t testify in the trial, surviving being shot 17 times last year, in what authorities said was an attempt to silence his testimony.

In addition to the reward money, the mayor had strong words for those responsible for Matthew’s murder, pointing directly to those connected to Hankton: "We're going to win this battle and I'm sending a message loud and clear to Telly Hankton and his family and anybody else who is associated to this, we're coming to get you, and we're going to find a way."

Because witnesses coming forward continues to hamper investigations into violent crimes, the murder of Curtis Matthews and the earlier attempt on John Matthew's life have struck a chord with local officials.

Officials have tried to ease fears for anyone who may decide to come forward.

"The most important way to solve these cases is somebody in this listening audience knows something, and all they gotta do is call Crimestoppers and they'll never be known, but they can give us the information we need," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.