OGDEN -- Weber County Attorney Dee Smith called a news conference Wednesday to lash out at what he calls the "shenanigans" of his former law partner, Randy Richards.
"The word 'shenanigans' is the best way to describe it," Smith said of motions filed by Richards that imply the county attorney's office is hiding evidence in the Matthew David Stewart case.
Stewart faces a capital homicide charge and eight other felony counts in a Jan. 4 shootout at his house. Weber-Morgan Strike Force Agent Jared Francom, an Ogden police officer, died of his injuries, and five other officers were shot.
Smith accused Richards of making misrepresentations in court and in the media suggesting prosecutors are hiding evidence.
"That couldn't be further from the truth," Smith said.
Smith and Richards worked together for several years until Smith's appointment as county attorney in May 2009.
Richards actually showed up 10 minutes into the news conference and sat in the audience in the county commission meeting chambers, making no comment.
But he was basically mobbed by the gathered broadcast news corps as he tried to leave the building after the news conference.
"My only response is, I filed my motions and I stand behind them. ... I don't play games, and I don't file frivolous motions," he said.
He also told reporters he is committed to the Stewart case for the long term, but wouldn't comment on whether that meant he was working pro bono.
Smith, at the news conference, said Richards has only told his office he is temporarily on the case, retained by Stewart's family a few days after the shooting.
For that reason, Smith said, discovery has been released to the two court-appointed lawyers for Stewart, not Richards.
Ryan Bushell and William Albright were appointed Feb. 7 after Richards filed a notice of indigency that said Stewart was out of funds, some of which had been paid to him.
Smith said the "last straw" for him was Richards' motion last week asking a judge to order Smith's office to allow him access to the crime scene, Stewart's home, to prevent destruction of evidence.
"Four days prior, (Bushell and Alblright) and their investigator were in the home," Smith said.
The motion was reported by media this week, "just one of numerous articles that continue to run which imply that we are hiding the ball," Smith said. "And that's just not true."
With no hearings or briefing schedules set for the various motions filed by Richards, the next hearing in the Stewart case is a March 19 status conference before 2nd District Judge Noel Hyde.
In a brief interview Wednesday morning, Bushell said Richards was not aware that he and Albright had inspected Stewart's home when Richards filed the motion demanding access to the home.
Nonetheless, he said, the three intend to work as a team.
Bushell spoke after noting a gag order requested by prosecutors in the case had not yet been signed by Hyde.
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