Man charged in police shooting found dead at jail

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An Army veteran charged with killing a police officer and wounding five others in a shootout during a marijuana raid was found dead at Weber County jail, the veteran's father said Friday.

Matthew David Stewart was found dead late Thursday, said his father, Michael Stewart, who doesn't believe foul play was involved and says it may have been a suicide.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office wouldn't confirm the inmate death ahead of a late morning news conference.

Michael Stewart said he wasn't told how his 39-year-old son died. He said his son was despondent over a judge's recent refusal to hold a hearing on what the family believes was an illegally obtained search warrant.

Stewart was accused of killing strike force agent Jared Francom and wounding other officers when authorities descended on his Ogden home during a January 2012 raid. He could have faced the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder.

He also faced charges of attempted aggravated murder and marijuana cultivation.

Investigators said they received a telephone tip that Stewart was growing marijuana in his home about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. Officers have said they visited when no one was home and believed they could see equipment inside for growing marijuana.

Authorities obtained a search warrant, and a drug task force raided the site on Jan. 4, 2012.

Stewart maintained he never heard the officers identify themselves and believed he was being robbed when they broke open his door with a ramming device.

Police said Stewart had not responded to a knock at the door and waited for police to enter before firing into a hallway from his bedroom.

During the gun fight, Stewart suffered several gunshot wounds and was hospitalized for nearly a month.

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