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Matthew Stewart 'knew who he was shooting at' in firing 31 rounds, prosecutor says

Published: Friday, May 24 2013 8:15 a.m. MDT

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Murray, UT

Hopefully, they have an outside agency investigate the death.


So, without a trial, this defendant will be presumed innocent, and was simply defending his home against intruders who broke down his door while he was sleeping.....end of story.

Saratoga Springs, UT

".....after a long and courageous battle with a corrupt and arrogant judicial system. He was supposed to be considered innocent until he was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,"

Really? The guy shot and killed a police officer. Regardless of the situation, you are saying it was alright for him to fire shot in a standoff and kill an officer. Are you kidding me? Very easily could have put his weapon down and surrendered. No mercy on this guy at all.

Fuaamotu, Tonga

Looks like a conviction to me.

San Diego, CA

To Mr. Stewart's family,

Would you be willing to sit down and discuss our "corrupt and arrogant judicial system" with Officer Francom's wife and daughters? Or with the other injured officers or their families?

I didn't think so.

Gallatin, MO

No one knows how this guy in jail died I didn't read that part so to judge the judicial system of being corrupt and arrogant wouldn't you have to afford them the same treatment as you say this man was trying to receive. For all we know he could have committed suicide or it could have been revenge or even natural causes. We don't know therefore we can not, from this article, make a decision either way.

Kaysville, UT

The Stewart family demands that Matthew be presumed innocent while demanding that police be presumed guilty. Pure hypocrisy.

Beverly Hills, CA

Here is a tip, don't break the law.

Altamont, UT

Utah Bruin and RR_Xing. I wish I could give both your comments 1000 'likes'.
I totally agree!

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Murray, UT
Hopefully, they have an outside agency investigate the death.

8:28 a.m. May 24, 2013



The guy was a suspected cop killer.

His death seems suspicous already...

The foxes minding the hen house - literally - shouldn't be trusted on this one.

Spider Rico
Greeley, CO

Give me a break - he killed an officer doing his job and injured others. How is that innocent? If he was not involved in drugs why did he fight off the law rather than plead his case? My heart goes out to the families on both sides, but D's family needs to think about the tragedy on the other side.

Murray, UT

I wonder, if the judge would have scheduled a hearing regarding the integrity of the search warrant, would this suicide have taken place? It would also seem that the correction officers did a poor job of monitoring this guest of their jail. I see a law suit coming from the family and Weber County paying for a death that should not have happened. And as iron&clay points out, without a trial he dies an innocent man.

Woods Cross, UT

A set of tragic circumstances for all the families involved..... I doubt if either side of this controversy will ever see the other's perspective.

But the basic cause of all of this grief really seems to be what might be the scourge of our century, the implications and impact of illegal drugs.

So many crimes, so much tragedy, surrounding the world-wide conflict inherent in the various forms of illegal drugs, drug manufacturing, distribution, and addiction.

So much crime, so much tragedy. I wonder if our society will ultimately be able to survive it all.

Omaha, NE

@ Spider Rico...
I agree that based on what I have read the guy is probably guilty. But I saw probably and you should too.

Imagine sleeping at home and suddenly there is a guy in your house all dressed in black with a gun at his side (possibly serving a warrant and your door was unlocked or searching for someone hiding in your area or...). You've got a gun and raise it and fire because you are not really awake and you've been trained to do this. You fire and the guy goes down. Then others start firing at you from somewhere beyond the door, you fire back.

I have no idea what happened, but I can imagine at least three other scenarios where it might have made sense.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

why was it necessary to serve a search warrant in the middle of the night with a "strike team". Seems the police were expecting and anticipating a violent outcome. It just didn't go the way the police planned.

Saratoga Springs, UT


Ridiculous comment, if a search warrant is issued by a court of law, I would say it has integrity.

Suicide??? Hmmm, I did not know the cause of death was released yet.

Law suit for cases like this? Laughable, this is exactly what is wrong with our countries people way of thinking. Doesn't go your way, let's sue someone.


Search warrants are not a Navy Seal like tactic of sneaking in, they are announced, several times loudly throughout the gaining control of the home. When the guy woke up and heard several officers screaming search warrant, he should have known at that point that it is the police, this is when you throw your hands in the air and let the officers do their jobs and then if you are innocent then you can explain this and walk away from the ordeal. It happens all the time. And nobody fired from beyond a door.


Papa Smurf UTE
Herriman, UT


They announced that they were Police Officers. This was stated over a year ago when all this went down. Most sane people, even with military training don't just get up and start shooting. The guy is guilty, and I believe that his family probably know that as well. I would like for his family to go to Officer Francom's widows house and tell her that it was just a big misunderstanding.

Salt Lake City, UT

"And as iron&clay points out, without a trial he dies an innocent man."

No he didn't. What a silly idea. He wasn't tried is the only thing his suicide did. Whether he was guilty is based on the fact of whether he commited the crime. It has nothing to do with rather or not he was found guilty in a court. If he is guilty he is guilty.

Hamath, even if he didn't recognize initially that he was shooting at cops (which he could have argued at court) I find it hard to believe that at some point he did not realize he was shooting at cops. You realize this whole incident was reletively drawn out. If the cops made mistakes then argue that in court. But if he knew he was shooting at cops at any time he is 100 % guilty. You realize he shot a number of cops, luckily only killing one. He was also growing pot (which is illegal).

salt lake city, UT

Utah Bruin, I wish I could give you 1000 likes.
The police had a knock & announce search warrant. They knocked & announced, and Stewart concealed himself, lying in wait as the officers came towards him. He fired upon the officers, killing Officer Francom and continuing to fire at officers even as the fight moved outside and it was obvious that they were in police uniforms. His purpose was to "go out in a blaze of glory" just as he told his friends.
Whatever you may think about marijuana laws, the fact remains that it is still illegal, and a residence where marijuana is cultivated lowers the quality of life and value of homes in the neighborhood it is in. He was also growing within 500 yards of a school.
Finally, Stewart was not some war hero - he was a clerk in the Army, never saw combat, and discharged less than honorably. If that's the kind of preson you want to defend while villifying the police, more power to you.


So if the family thinks that the police force was arrogant and corrupt, what specific charges do they have and are they making? I just hear accusations with nothing to back it up. Police are not always "pure as the wind driven snow" and they do make mistakes. Just look at the WVC Police dept. but I have not heard of any specific charges against the OPD in this case. I do know there were some "irregularities", but nothing that would have changed the outcome.

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