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Man Discovers Dad's Killer Coaching Youth Baseball

Joey Mathews wants Babe Ruth Little League board members dismissed and changes to be made in bylaws

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    NEWSLETTERS

    7/29/2014: Joey Mathews wants Babe Ruth League board members dismissed and changes to be made in bylaws. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports.

    A Chicago man is seeking answers after learning that one of the men who beat his father to death in 1988 was coaching youth baseball in his neighborhood.

    Joey Mathews, of Hegewisch, was 4 years old when his father -- Chicago Police officer John Mathews -- was beaten to death by several men in 1988.

    Mathews learned in June that one of those men, Dean Chavez, was coaching in the local Babe Ruth Baseball program.

    ARCHIVE: Chicago Police Officer Beaten to Death

    [CHI] ARCHIVE: Chicago Police Officer Beaten to Death
    In this archival footage from 1988, police search for three suspects in the fatal beating of Chicago Police officer John Matthews. After serving his sentence, one of the men was discovered coaching Little League in the same neighborhood as Matthew's son, who was four when his dad was killed.

    He says the league did not do a proper background check and tried to brush the matter under the rug when he brought it up.

    He says both he and his mother sent emails to Hegewisch baseball officials asking that Chavez be removed, but was told he's a good coach who didn't compromise the safety of the children.

    "These kids are learning life lessons from a murderer," Mathews said.

    Chavez, who served 11 years in jail, was fired after Mathews said he approached national league officials.

    "One of things you did when he became an adult was kill a guy with a baseball bat. Now he wants to coach baseball? It's absolutely insane," Mathews said.

    Mathews is seeking the dismissal of the league's five board members, and for the local and national Babe Ruth bylaws to be changed so it doesn't happen again.

    The bylaws currently only cover potential coaches convicted of a sexual offense or an offense against a minor, according to Mathews.

    The league will host a meeting Wednesday evening in Hegewisch to address the matter which Mathews says has opened up old wounds for his mother.

    "No one should have to live through this twice," Mathews said.

    Chavez and league officials did not return requests for comment.