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6 resign from Chicago youth baseball board after learning coach a cop killer


Dean Chavez, left, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Chicago police officer John Mathews. Chavez resigned after Mathews' family expressed outrage that he was coaching in little league. (Chicago Police)

The family of a police officer killed in a 'brutal' 1988 beating at the hands of a group of young men expressed outrage last month when they learned that one of the assailants, who served 11 years for the murder, was the head coach in a children's baseball league, The Chicago Tribune reported.

"The fact is, a man who killed another man using a baseball bat is coaching kids to swing a baseball bat," Joey Mathews, the son of the murdered police officer, John Mathews, told ABC 7. "It boggles the mind."

The controversy resulted in six board members from the Hegewisch Babe Ruth league resigning Wednesday night during a contentious meeting, according to The Tribune. The argument was that the board should have had better oversight, despite most of the community knowing Dean Chavez's criminal history. 

The resignations were announced in hopes to "move the whole league and community forward."

Chavez and three others were convicted of second-degree murder for their role in Mathews' beating death, The Chicago Tribune reported. The paper reported that the judge called the beating "one of the most brutal and vicious attacks ever presented to this court." But evidence showed both Chavez and Mathews, who was off-duty, had been drinking. The judge called the case a tragic example of alcohol abuse.

Chavez, who agreed to resign after the officer's family raised concern last month, told The Tribune that parents knew he was involved in the league, but there were no complaints.

Chavez said he has no plans to pursue the issue any further and told ABC 7 that all he wanted to do was help the kids. One of his former players told the station that he knew his coach killed someone, but he "was real nice to us."

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