DA Will Seek Death Penalty in Utah Police Shooting; Confirms Warrant was for ‘Suspected’ Marijuana Grow; ‘Bomb’ Detonation was Precautionary

DA Will Seek Death Penalty in Utah Police Shooting; Confirms Warrant was for ‘Suspected’ Marijuana Grow; ‘Bomb’ Detonation was Precautionary

OGDEN, UT — Weber County Attorney Dee W. Smith will seek the death penalty for Matthew Stewart, the US Army veteran who fired at police January 5 when they entered his home to serve a search warrant for a suspected marijuana grow operation. Smith will file the charges when Stewart is transferred from the hospital to jail.

Agent Jared Francom lost his life while serving a search warrant on a suspected marijuana grow in Ogden, UT.

Smith said Stewart, accused of shooting and killing Ogden police officer Jared Francom and wounding five other officers, will likely face charges of capital murder, eight counts of attempted aggravated murder and cultivation of marijuana.

Smith confirmed that the warrant Ogden Police were attempting to serve on the night of January 5 was a search warrant, believing that Stewart was growing marijuana in his home. Smith said that it was not an arrest warrant. In 2011, the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Task Force seized 6,600 marijuana plants in similar raids.

Smith also confirmed that a “suspicious device” was found in a closet in the house on Saturday.  Because of “its appearance and other components located nearby,” a local bomb squad was called and detonated the device inside the house.  However, Smith couldn’t say that it was actually a bomb, and stressed that the detonation was a precautionary measure.

Smith could not confirm reports in the media that some of the police officers were wounded by “friendly fire”, but he did say that “a number of individuals were wounded as they were giving aid and trying to remove fallen officers from the scene.”

Michael Stewart, father of the suspect, said his son suffers from mental problems, possibly due to post-traumatic stress disorder, and self-medicates with marijuana. Because Utah does not have a recognized medical marijuana program, he believes his son was growing marijuana for his own personal use, insisting that his son did not sell drugs.

Stewart said shooting in a situation where a group of armed men break into a house isn’t all that surprising, especially when it is the home of an army veteran. If his son, who worked the overnight shift at a local Walmart, was sleeping at the time, he could easily react by defending himself,  especially considering his military training.

“Hey, figure it out.  If 12 [armed] people come through your door, what are you going to do?” he asked.

But Stewart believes both his son and police overreacted on the night of January 5. “My whole thing is, it was an overreaction on both of their parts, and both families are suffering,” he said. “I just want it to be known, our hearts go out to all those officers and their families.”

State court records indicate Matthew Stewart’s only criminal conviction was in 2005 in on a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle without insurance.  He paid a $350 fine.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebeckah-Casey-Cardiel/1380053270 Rebeckah Casey-Cardiel

    Damn, that really is a shame. I feel for everyone involved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebeckah-Casey-Cardiel/1380053270 Rebeckah Casey-Cardiel

    Damn, that really is a shame. I feel for everyone involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Guy-Falkes/100002818174802 Guy Falkes

      The shame is that he didn’t get all the traitors shot and dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580877779 AlWolf Sandlin

    fucking pos pigs! legalize everything!

  • Unnamed

    This is another perfect example of the stupid war on drugs our government continues to follow. I understand if crack, coke, and other chemical drugs were illegal. But why is marijuana illegal is beyond me. It has been proven hundreds of times that marijuana does more good than bad for peopleqho use it whether it is medically or recreationally. I am tired of the government telling me what I can or cannot use or do with my damn body. If I am not harming anyone then why make a big deal out of smoking pot. Now because of our failed war on drugs, a military veteran (that fought for our country and freedom) and many police officers are wounded and 1 dead. Americans need to wake up and legalize marijuana so this kind of unnecessary bullshit stops from happening all over the country. If the government cared so much for our well being then why is alcohol and cigaretts legal after everyone knows that both of them kill people? The government doesnt give a FUCK about its people. They dont want you to use your drugs, they want you to use their drugs. Simple as that. Fuck this shit. People need to speak up and make this shitty government end their pathetic excuse to waste our money with their war on drugs and start using that money to fix the fucking country. All of this couldve been avoided, simple as that… Quit being a government bitch and fight for your rights people. WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Davis/100002295721158 Patrick Davis

    wow thank you police I feel so much safer now that this deranged dopedealer is off the streets. I felt the danger he posed with his plants all the way here in California, I was afraid for the children.What if a molecule of THC had escaped and gotten one of the children high? Its strange that this kid shot iraqi’s and afghans to protect their freedom and got medals for it and when he protects his own freedoms some douchebag is going to ask for the death penalty. maybe you all should read the Constitution; it affords you the right to bear arms to keep unkown armed assailants from breaking into your house. A golf club is hardly one of the 7 reasons deadly force is authorized if it  is? go light up the PGA, Tigers a fuckin terrorist. This is to all politicians”you all suck at your jobs” with a country in economic crisis, wars, foreclosure, white collar rip offs of peoples lives and subconcious depression of an entire nation You assholes have time to worry about a plant? Really? Walk up to a marijuana plant and see if it harms you in any way,The Country has voted,is voting, is fighting for their rights. Please uncork your heads from your asses we have real problems and scapegoating marijuana wont fix the

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  • http://www.anthonytaurus.com Anthony Taurus

    When are the police going to take responsibility for their own actions. It’s their fault they attacked the man in his home while he was home. The police always do some type of surveillance before just raiding someone’s home. They know when you’re there. They know when you’re away. They know your schedule. This is long before they rush to knock that door down. But, they always wait until the person is home and “should” be asleep.

    Why? Why not search the place when the guy is at work? Why not use other tactics like a fake award which has been used to catch plenty of actual criminals SAFELY (no guns needed)? Where are the police that use their brains?

    The fact is that these police officers look for the war zone; where there is none, they create it. Then, when someone gets hurt, they act like they’re innocent. The real problem comes in when people get into the court room where prosecutors, with the judges’ help, manipulate jurors into believing that this guy was dangerous due to a few marijuana plants.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Guy-Falkes/100002818174802 Guy Falkes

      Whats sad is he didn’t get them all shot and killed.

      Traitors deserve bullets, those that break into American citizens homes deserve to die.

  • utah hater

    ONLY IN UTAH, IS ALL IM GONNA SAY!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000803367100 Eric L Salerno

    Exactly…wtf!! Legalize it!!!

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  • Guest

    I’ll be following this. People who live up there know well the heavy handed nature of this squad. They are notorious. I really hope this guy is found not guilty, but the nature of Utah courts allows cops to be Judge, Jury and executioner. Ultimately, for this raid to be such a mess, this has to be a training/procedural issue too. The chief of Police should be held accountable.

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  • richard bong

    Killing over drugs is senseless and stupid, by both sides. Killing someone because you have drugs is just as immoral as being killed for having them. Right or wrong his killing someone over cannabis does nothing to help the cause. All he did was give the other side more ammo in their war on drugs. Trying to justify his actions and saying you wished he’d killed more of them just makes our side look like the violent criminals the prohibitionists try to paint us as. Good going folks, you’re just helping the other side make it’s case. If I was still sitting on the fence trying to make up my mind and read some of these comments I sure as hell wouldn’t support ending prohibition.