Reading, Pennsylvania man Nathan Matthias had a rather unusual reason for drunkenly firing a shotgun while inside his apartment — he allegedly thought that he saw two clowns invading his apartment and causing a ruckus by running around the house.
According to the Reading Eagle, the 35-year-old Matthias was given a sentence of 22 months to five years in state prison on Monday, close to two years after the incident in question took place. While police were not able to find any clowns running around Matthias’ second-floor apartment in December 2016, he was found to have placed the life of one of his first-floor neighbors in danger through his alleged actions.
Although Nathan Matthias pleaded guilty to the shooting incident in July, he and his lawyer, Philadelphia-based Eugene P. Tinari, failed to provide medical documents that would have allowed the sentencing to be deferred. As a result, Judge Eleni Dimitriou Geishauser followed a recommendation from Assistant District Attorney Alec Colquhoun, who maintained that Matthias “could have easily killed someone” when he was supposedly firing at the nonexistent clowns.
Due to Nathan Matthias’ problems with alcohol abuse, Tinari reportedly asked for a county jail sentence, saying at the time of his client’s guilty plea that Matthias had “some type of hallucinatory event” when he fired his gun at the clowns he claimed to have seen. Tinari added that Matthias did not have any intentions of hurting anyone and that he was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility after investigators found that the Pennsylvania man was “not in the right mind.”
According to police reports, Matthias told officers who arrived at his home on the morning of December 18, 2016, that there were “two small clowns” running around his apartment, only for police to discover that there was no one else at the place. Later on, he told officers that the clowns were on his neighbor’s roof, though once again, there wasn’t anyone spotted on the roof. Matthias, who was described as having bloodshot eyes and having a bottle of vodka in his pocket, also informed police that he had yet to get any sleep after drinking the night before.
Matthias, who has been imprisoned since June 2017, will receive credit for the time he has spent behind bars since then. The Reading Eagle noted that the Pennsylvania man will also have to undergo treatment for drug and alcohol abuse as part of his sentence.
Aside from his sentence for discharging a firearm in an occupied structure, Nathan Matthias will also serve a concurrent sentence of 90 days to one year for an unrelated case, where he was arrested for driving under the influence in March 2017, the Reading Eagle added.