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Brewton students claim classmate accused of computer tampering is innocent

Brewton students claim classmate accused of computer tampering is innocent

On Tuesday night, friends and family of an East Brewton teen accused of tampering with a school's computer showed support for him and claimed he was innocent.

Matthew Hutchins, 18, was arrested on Monday. He bonded out of jail shortly after.

Hutchins was among the crowd on Tuesday. While his lawyer advised him and his family not to talk about the arrest, many of his classmates at W.S. Neal High School spoke on his behalf.

"We've been with him through all of our lives and went to school with him," Tazur Thomas said. "We've grown up with him and we know he is not capable of doing anything like this."

Thomas said Hutchins is honest, caring, a hard worker and an all-around good person. Investigators think he is a cheater.

Superintendent John Knott said school administrators found discrepancies in grades and transcripts of multiple students while compiling its "top 10 students" list. They believe Hutchins had a part in that.

The school district is not giving Channel 3 News details as to why they think he is involved. Knott said they are still looking into what happened and if others were involved. Shannon Odom believes others had to have been in on it.

"It goes a lot further than just a student who was doing this," Odom said. "A student ain't do this alone. We want the truth. We want answers. We want the bottom of it."

Thomas said this is overwhelming for the arrest to come a week before graduation. She said she and the others will stick by Hutchins.

"We know he is innocent and the truth will come out and we are here to support him," Thomas said.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office is now investigating. Hutchins has been charged with computer tampering.

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