Gibson CountyIndiana

Community Mounts Campaigns After Courtroom Charge

People from across the nation and around the world have been speaking out on social media, after one man’s effort to take justice into his own hands went viral.

A petition is now circulating to get Matt Hartley released from jail, and a GoFundMe is raising money to pay his legal fees.

Hartley punched Kwin Boes outside Gibson County Superior Court moments after Boes was sentenced for killing his own three month old son.

It was the punch seen and heard across the country, with Jeremiah Matthew Hartley striking out against the man just sentenced in the death of Hartley’s nephew.

But after the video of the incident was viewed hundreds of thousands of times online, his family and friends are using the internet to help in the next legal steps.

“I did not know them. I was just watching on the news. And I sent his mother a message and asked if they had anyone helping. They didn’t know what to do. They’re just in shock,” explained Sandy Friedrich, who started the GoFundMe campaign.

“I am so sick of these stories about killed and hurt children. They just make me sick,” she continued.

She says she’s not alone: “There has been thousands and thousands of comments. There was one negative comment. Every comment was I wish I could’ve done it.

Friedrich told us people like her are tired of feeling helpless: “We are foster and adoptive parents. I have seen horror stories or talked to other adoptive parents about shaken baby syndrome and I just feel like somebody had to help them give Matt a voice.”

But she’s not the only one taking up the cause.

On top of an internet petition currently sitting with over 2200 signatures—

“A paper petition. I have it at a few gas stations. A nail salon,” Sierra Adams, Hartley’s girlfriend listed.

Both of those going to bat for Matt that we spoke to recognize and accept the judge’s decision.

“I understand the judge being upset. We can’t go back to the days of the Wild Wild West,” Friedrich conceded.

“The judge had a job to do, and he did it,” Adams added.

Their request: compassion, from the community and the court.

“He was already emotional, Adams said about her boyfriend. “He’d been to every court date. That was his nephew. He was named after our late brother.”

They want people to know that stepping up for Matt—-in person or over the internet-—is meant to make a difference for him.

“I spoke with the attorneys office today and every penny of that money will be withdrawn by the attorney. It s not coming to me,” Friedrich said.

While Hartley cannot appeal the conviction for contempt, he can appeal the sentence. He’s also due back in court on battery charges from the state of Indiana.

A link to his GoFundMe can be found here.

A link to the petition can be found here.

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