New Jersey man formally sentenced to 8 years in prison after racist rant went viral

Edward Mathews sparked outrage in his Mount Laurel community.

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

A New Jersey man caught on video using racist slurs against his Black neighbors was formally sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday.

The sentencing was part of the plea deal announced back in October, when Edward Mathews pled guilty to four counts of bias intimidation.

Mathews, 47, sparked outrage in his Mount Laurel community more than two years ago when video of his racist rant went viral.

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The investigation began July 2, 2021, after a resident came to the Mount Laurel Police Department to file a harassment complaint against Mathews.

A short time later, a Mount Laurel police officer responded to a home for a report of a man needing to be removed from the area.

Authorities say the officer found Mathews using racial slurs against several other residents.

Prosecutors say the investigation revealed a pattern of abuse from Mathews against his neighbors that included leaving a threatening note on one of their vehicles.

Mathews was taken into custody on July 5 as dozens of protesters surrounded his home.

In a 2021 interview with Action News, Mathews said he was drunk at the time.

Along with bias intimidation, prosecutors said Mathews also pled guilty to a drug offense.

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Prosecutors say the drug offense was filed after hallucinogenic mushrooms were found after a search of his home.

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