OGDEN -- Law enforcement personnel may be at Matthew David Stewart's home until Monday, gathering crime scene items left from a Jan. 4, 2012, deadly shootout with police.
The shooting during a drug search at the residence, at 3268 Jackson Ave., killed Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force Agent Jared Francom and wounded Stewart along with five other officers.
Police are authorized to be inside Stewart's home, because it is still classified as evidence under a search warrant, Chief Deputy Weber County Attorney Gary Heward said Thursday.
Law enforcement personnel are painstakingly removing numerous items, including bullet markers and dowels, plus flashlights and radios the strike force agents left in the house while fleeing amid gunfire, Heward said.
The items were left because prosecutors planned to use the house as an exhibit in Stewart's criminal trial.
However, the house is no longer needed by prosecutors as a result of Stewart's May 24 suicide in Weber County Jail, apparently from hanging.
Once officers are finished collecting items from the house, it will be released from police custody, Heward said. The state will not pay for any repairs to the house for damage from the shootout, he added.
Emily Swenson, an attorney representing the Stewart family in a civil lawsuit against an insurance company over the home, told the Standard-Examiner on Thursday that police are tampering with evidence related to the court case.
The parties are far apart on who is to pay for clean-up costs associated with bullet holes and blood splatters that Swenson said could reach $20,000.
Swenson also said she and Stewart's lead defense counsel, Randy Richards, were considering filing a temporary restraining order to force police to leave the home.
Heward said he informed Richards on Wednesday that police have a legal right to remove crime scene items from the house.
Stewart had been facing trial on a capital homicide charge in the death of Francom in the 25-minute exchange of gunfire after the strike force forcibly entered the home with a knock-and-announce search warrant for pot.
Stewart claimed he did not know the men battering down his door were police. He was also facing seven counts of attempted murder for shooting at seven other officers, hitting five, plus a possession charge for 16 marijuana plants found in the basement.
Standard-Examiner reporter Tim Gurrister contributed to this story.