Matthew Stewart 'knew who he was shooting at' in firing 31 rounds, prosecutor says
"Regardless of what cynical or credulous liberals. . . may say."Procu, while the rest of your comment is absolutely correct, your knee
jerk need to blame "liberals" for all that's wrong in the world is
showing. Look at the names of the commenters defending this guy, they
aren't the liberals. Nope, they are from the conservative side, dude. Your
Re: ". . . the public is now forced to presume that an innocent man was
defending his home against invaders who kicked down his door while he was
sleeping."No, we're not forced to do any such thing.The presumption of innocence is a judicial construct that applies only
in court proceedings. Unless we're jurors in the case, we are free to
examine the evidence and make conclusions based on our knowledge of the facts
and the way things operate in the real world.The facts are clear.
There's no serious doubt that Mr. Stewart committed murder of a police
officer attempting to protect his marihuana-grow operation.Regardless of what cynical or credulous liberals, or his grieving,
but-ungrounded-in-reality family may say.
President Obama says that sometimes 'cops act stupidly".What happened to the constitutional right of the defendant to have a speedy
trial by jury?The original article brought out that the trial was
set for 2014 which is about 2 years from arrest.Again, without a
trial and conviction by jury, the defendant is presumed innocent and so the
public is now forced to presume that an innocent man was defending his home
against invaders who kicked down his door while he was sleeping.
Vidar, what incident were we talking about? The one about the shooting of cops
and the killing of one of them in Ogden, or the list you have? Try to focus. We
are not talking about the raids you brought up. We are talking about this case.
We are not talking about the war on drugs we are talking about a person that
ambushed cops and shot them and killed one. Try to focus. But you
really think that because cops have made mistakes in raids and there are
problems with the war on drugs that excuses what this guy did? This cop killer.
You really think it is okay to kill cops? Like I asked before, what
is wrong with you people?
Reading comprehension seems to be lacking here. The raid was at 8:40 pm, not
midnight. The officers had a "knock & announce" warrant, which
means they were required to knock on the door, and announce their intentions.
the investigation showed that they did this. It also showed that Mr Stewart did
not confront them as they came in the door, he laid in hiding to ambush them,
then kept firing on the wounded. He then went outside and fired on uniformed
police, the kind with flashing lights, badges, distinctive clothing and I would
be willing to bet that they had the word "police" on the cars and
uniforms. Those officers were doing the job they were hired to do, they
weren't loose cannons free-lancing it.No, I think the facts
have been adequately presented. Let the independent investigation into the jail
death commence. I am certain the facts, substantiated by videos and sound
recordings which are in every jail facility to record the actions of officers
and inmates, will be forthcoming.
re: MarkDid these people have the right to defend themselves? It
seems that just cooperating did them little good.Annie Rae Dixon 84
years old Tyler, Texas January, Bedridden with pneumonia during a drug raid.
Officer kicked open her bedroom door and accidentally shot her.Ismael Mena 45 years old Denver, Colorado: Mena was killed when police barged
into his house looking for drugs. They had the wrong address.Mario
Paz 65 years old Compton, California: Mario was shot twice in the back in his
bedroom during a SWAT raid looking for marijuana. No drugs were found.Alberta Spruill 57 years old: Police, acting on a tip, forced their way into
Spruill’s home, setting off flash grenades. She suffered a heart attack
and died. It was the wrong addressAlberto Sepulveda 11 years old
Modesto, California: Alberto was killed by a shotgun blast to the back while
following police orders and lying face down on the floor during a SWAT raid. He
was a seventh-grader at Prescott Senior Elementary School.The war on
drugs is a war on our own people. It is time to stop excusing this as
collateral acceptable collateral damage.
This young man did the same thing when he killed himself as he was trying to do
when he hid himself away and then began to shoot to kill... deprive justice from
being served.True he is in the hands of his Maker and also will face the
man he killed and truly Justice will be served.
Re: "[A family member] called him an 'herbalist' who wasn't
dealing drugs or harming anyone . . . ."Yeah, and the Zetas
cartel are just unlicensed pharmacists who aren't dealing drugs or harming
What is ironic is no one had to die. Police should review how they handle these
situations and deal with them in a smarter way. IE Wait until the person leaves
the house and make the arrest or surveillance to establish who is coming/going,
or send a officer to the front door as a last resort. If someone breaks into my
home the last thing I would be incline to believe is them saying they were
police. If they want to talk to me just knock and show me they are a officer so
I can call and confirm their ID or be convinced they are who they say they are.
Don't send a bunch of gung hoe rambo want to be's. It is plain stupid
policies that costs lives.
What is wrong with you people?You can't just shoot and kill
cops. What are you thinking? This guy ambushed these cops and shot
them as they came in. He then escaped outside and hid and then continued to
shoot at them. He shot a number of them and killed one. There is absolutely no
way he did not know at some point he was shooting at cops. Unless he was too
high on his own product to even think straight. This isn't
about second amendment rights, this isn't about protecting yourself in your
home against thugs. This is about killing a cop. This guy was a cop killer and a
drug dealer. This is almost lunacy what some of you people are suggesting: that
we can just start killing cops because, hey, the search warrant might not have
been right. Well tell it to the judge. Or that anyone can imitate a cop. Some of you people are really defending this guy by saying he might have
thought he was defending his drug stash from competing drug dealers. You are
defending him using that! What is going on?
Re: UtahBruinUtahBruin"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"Other than the obvious
question of: what is to stop a criminal from yelling police? When he bust down
your door?It is naive to think only guilty people are killed in drug
raids. All you have to do is search innocent people killed in drug raids for
many examples.There are numerous examples of police raiding the wrong
house and killing innocent people.And here is the other point I want to
make here: I find it shocking the number of people who defend background checks,
or gun registration, or any restrictions on firearms; because they believe
citizens need guns to protect themselves from the police and military. And then
when someone does use a gun against the police, the same people are first in
line to demand they be executed: seems hypocritical
Don't you think that if they wanted him dead they would have killed him
during the raid?They had evidence of him firing on the police and proof
that it was a substantiated raid (despite what some posters who want street
drugs legalized are saying here).Seriously, the natural reaction of police
who just saw one of their own mortally wounded would have been to kill him at
the first opportunity.He looked pretty healthy at the hearing on
Utah Bruin. I wonder what those Chicago mobsters were thinking as they were
being moved down by fake cops in the St Valentines day Massacre?
There seems to be a dispute on the facts of the police entry. But isn't it
sad that all this happened because the defendant was allegedly growing pot in
Dying while in police custody is immediately suspicious and should be treated as
such. An independent, non-police agency panel of third-party citizens and
lawyers should conduct an immediate and thorough investigation. The judicial
system has a duty to protect prisoners and make sure they get a fair trial.
Anything less and our system isn't worth defending. I do not
defend Mr. Stewart's actions. But it is possible both sides are wrong in
this case. Cultivating marijuana in a basement is not an immediate threat to
life and limb that requires an aggressive, armed invasion of private property,
an action LIKELY to provoke an armed response if the resident is armed, trained
and ready to protect his investment against competitors. How to tell if a
midnight knock is really police or imposters? The correct action
here would have been to wait until daylight and wait Mr. Stewart out. He is not
going anywhere with the house surrounded. No other victims or hostages in the
house, what is the rush to use lethal force? Trusting official explanations is
another mistake. They protect their own. Strict oversight is needed.
I usually side with the police but they were wrong in how they went about this
arrest. I feel bad for both families but the police need to change their
operating procedures. The deaths did not need to happen.
We also need to remember that we have 4th amendment rights. If someone
doesn't know that the police are going to barge in the natural reaction
would be to defend oneself. I'm not saying he was innocent or guilty. But
it's time to look long and hard at 'No Knock Raids."Would the police have been better to announce, and then wait for this young
man to come out of the home? Would justice have been better served by
surrounding the home? If he was guilty of a crime, and there was no reason to
believe anything giant was going on inside the home right then, was it necessary
to break into his home?
Ogden police are known for their "No Knock Raids." This is a tragedy
for all involved. Our system needs to take a long look at whether or not it is
aggravating the problem.
I am interested in whether or not Stewart was on any prescribed mind-altering
medicine. The shooters in most mass shootings were taking mind-altering drugs.
Too many, 7 Million, children take them, some started very, very young. Please
take an interest in this. This may not have been the case with Stewart, but
since he was a veteran, he may have been suffering from PTSD. Many of our
soldiers suffer from this.
What did the police find in the basement? Wonder why the police waited until
night to execute the search warrant?
So we are supposed to believe this version of events when what we actually know
is that Stewart's "elaborate cultivation system in his basement for
large-scale distribution" turned out to be a few young plants for personal,
future use, hardly worthy of a dangerous and risky search warrant.The issuing of this warrant and the commissioning of the SWAT team was
incredibly stupid, based on the vengeful lies of an ex-girlfriend (who surely
has a hand in instigating all this death and tragedy).If we believe
that people are distributing low level drugs, then arrest them while they are
distributing them.Don't pick on the grieving Stewart family
because of their dead son. They have a right to cry foul in this matter, as do
the poor children and wife of Mr. Francom.
Suicide? I doubt it very much. Having been keeping tabs on police brutality and
extra judicial murders in the US, I believe that he was summarily disposed of by
a police execution.
This is quite a different report than the one published this morning with only
the family's account of their poor son.The article leaves out the
fact that officers located his marijuana growing operation in the home. The
warrant proved to be substantiated by the evidence.I'm sure the
officers regret the way the arrest took place. They would much rather have
EVERYONE walk away from such encounters.Of course, there are some in the
community who feel street drugs should be legal and the police can never do
anything right.Thanks to the DN for telling the whole story here, even
though it took several hours of the family's side only.
Every person in lockup thinks he/she is different from the run-of-the-mill
crook. He tells his family his case is special and he is different. It is part
of the thinking that goes along with criminal behavior. It is a story as old as
Why did police think it prudent to break into a home un-announced for merely
marijuana use? Now one policeman is dead along with the homeowner and several
police were injured.Just because the law says you can do something
doesn't mean you should. If police or a gang of thugs break into a home
unannounced and say, "we are the police", why should the home owner
believe them? Anyone can say they are the police. If these are thugs, the home
owner has to act fast or he will lose tactical advantage, putting himself and
his family at severe risk. A person has the right to defend themselves and
their family.The police shouldn't break to any home unannounced
except to prevent murder or injury.
I'm amazed that the pro-gun commentors here are happy this guy is dead.Wasn't he just using his 2nd amendment right to protect his
property from a tyranical Government?I hear the Pro-Gun people
threatening to do the same thing this guy did.
as long as the outside agency doing he investigation, isnt the WVC PD.
Coward to the end.
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
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.
"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
Hamath,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.
@FitzRidiculous 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.@HamathSearch 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.Guilty
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.
@ 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
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.
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.
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.
VIDARMurray, UTHopefully, they have an outside agency investigate
the death.8:28 a.m. May 24, 2013============ Agreed.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.
Utah Bruin and RR_Xing. I wish I could give both your comments 1000
'likes'.I totally agree!
Here is a tip, don't break the law.
The Stewart family demands that Matthew be presumed innocent while demanding
that police be presumed guilty. Pure hypocrisy.
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.
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.
Looks like a conviction to me.
".....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.
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.
Hopefully, they have an outside agency investigate the death.