Court to soon consider seizure of Stewart's Ogden home

Jun 14 2012 - 10:29pm

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The court will soon consider whether this home, seen at 3268 Jackson Ave., in Ogden, on Tuesday, was seized correctly from Matthew Stewart, who is facing the death penalty after a Jan. 4 shootout here killed one officer and injured five others. The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force was serving a drug search warrant, and officials say they confiscated a marijuana grow operation and 16 plants. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
A notice is tacked to the home that has been seized from Matthew Stewart, now facing the death penalty after a shootout Jan. 4 killed one officer and injured five others. The court will soon consider whether the home at 3268 Jackson Ave., in Ogden, was seized correctly. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart
The court will soon consider whether this home, seen at 3268 Jackson Ave., in Ogden, on Tuesday, was seized correctly from Matthew Stewart, who is facing the death penalty after a Jan. 4 shootout here killed one officer and injured five others. The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force was serving a drug search warrant, and officials say they confiscated a marijuana grow operation and 16 plants. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
A notice is tacked to the home that has been seized from Matthew Stewart, now facing the death penalty after a shootout Jan. 4 killed one officer and injured five others. The court will soon consider whether the home at 3268 Jackson Ave., in Ogden, was seized correctly. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart

OGDEN -- Action could be coming soon on the lately dormant challenge to the seizure of Matthew Stewart's home in the aftermath of a police shootout there.

Stewart faces the death penalty in a Jan. 4 altercation at his home that left Officer Jared Francom dead. Five other officers and Stewart were wounded.

Stewart is alleged to have opened fire on the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force serving a search warrant at his now-seized home at 3268 Jackson Ave. Officials say 16 marijuana plants were seized.

Prosecutors have seized the home under drug forfeiture statutes.

Attorney Emily Swenson has filed motions challenging the forfeiture, claiming irregularities in the serving of notice on Stewart.

One motion claimed the seizure notice was not served by the right person under the law and that proper paperwork was not included.

Another claims the officer who served the notice was doubly disqualified from doing so because he was a strike force member, therefore a party in the case and not the proper person to be serving notice.

The Weber County Attorney's Office responded that the motions are not citing the correct statute, while the forfeiture documents do, all a question for a judge to decide.

Swenson has filed a formal "submit for decision" request, some two months after the county filed its final response to her motions to quash the seizure of the home. A hearing will now likely be called as soon as next week for scheduling of oral arguments before 2nd District Judge Mark DeCaria.

A preliminary hearing on the criminal charges against Stewart is set for July 18-20 before 2nd District Judge Noel Hyde.

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