Ogden cop shooting defendant contests home seizure
By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Mar 29 2012 07:28AM
The suspect accused of killing a police officer and wounding five others says the state made a mistake in trying to seize the house where the shooting occurred.
A lawyer for Matthew David Stewart filed a motion this week opposing the seizure on technical grounds. Emily Swenson, the attorney, says an Ogden police officer served Stewart at the Weber County jail with the paperwork notifying him of the seizure.
The law requires, Swenson argues in court papers, that a lawyer, sheriff’s deputy, constable or U.S. marshal serve such notices. Swenson’s motion does not address the merits of efforts to seize Stewart’s house at 3268 Jackson Ave. in Ogden.
On Jan. 4, the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force attempted to serve a search warrant at the house. Prosecutors have said in court papers that police repeatedly knocked and announced themselves before entering the house. Once they were inside, Stewart began shooting. Strike force Agent Jared Francom was killed in the shootout. Stewart has told The Tribune he did not hear the officers and thought someone was there to rob him.
Court papers claim Stewart had 16 marijuana plants inside the house. Prosecutors want to seize the house on the grounds it was used for drug distribution. Stewart has been charged with capital murder and other felonies.