Ballistics reports arrive; Stewart's preliminary hearing set

Jul 30 2012 - 11:17pm

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Matthew Stewart sits with his attorney, Randy Richards, as he appears Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and for allegedly shooting at other officers during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his Ogden home on Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart appears with his hands shackled Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and is accused of shooting at others during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his home Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart appears Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and is accused of shooting at others during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his home Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart sits with his attorney, Randy Richards, as he appears Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and for allegedly shooting at other officers during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his Ogden home on Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart appears with his hands shackled Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and is accused of shooting at others during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his home Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
Matthew Stewart appears Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stewart has been charged in the shooting death of Officer Jared Francom and is accused of shooting at others during the serving of a drug-related search warrant at his home Jan. 4. His preliminary hearing was set Monday for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- The first public airing of the events of Jan. 4 -- which left one police officer dead and five wounded -- has been scheduled for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in 2nd District Court.

The three-day preliminary hearing for Matthew Stewart was scheduled Monday by Judge Noel Hyde after officials said the long-awaited ballistics report has been received on the shootout that left Officer Jared Francom dead.

Stewart is charged with capital homicide in Francom's death and seven counts of attempted aggravated murder for allegedly shooting at seven other officers that night, injuring five. Agents of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were serving a search warrant on Stewart's home at the time.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys told Hyde they received ballistics reports from the Utah State Crime Lab on Friday. After the hearing, prosecutors declined any comment on the ballistic evidence.

Defense attorney Randy Richards said he had not yet reviewed the reports but probably would not be offering any comment.

"It's not that we don't want to comment, it's just that we can't," Deputy Weber County Attorney Gary Heward said of reluctance to discuss the ballistics report. Discussing the report would violate rules of professional conduct.

"We will, however, respond in the event any misinformation is released on the ballistics by the other side," Heward said.

Officials have not released any information on how many shots were fired the night of Jan. 4, the number of officers who discharged their weapons among the estimated 50 who responded to the scene, or even the duration of the shooting.

Prosecutors did clarify that the ballistics report has not been almost seven months in the making.

Materials from the crime scene were not forwarded in January for the ballistics examination, they said. However, they declined to say when the evidence was delivered for the ballistics examination.

At a July 18 hearing, the prosecution told Hyde that crime lab officials had advised them they were in the final report-writing phase of the ballistic probe.

Richards would only say the defense's ballistic expert expects he'll need 30 days to review the state's report. He declined to name the expert, appointed under sealed order from Hyde.

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