Suspect in Ogden shootout kept marijuana in his freezer, informant said
The investigation into Matthew David Stewart, who is charged with murdering an Ogden police officer and shooting five others, began in September when someone told police she had seen marijuana growing in his basement, according to documents released Tuesday.
The Salt Lake Tribune, through a request under the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act, obtained Ogden police reports about Stewart written prior to the Jan. 4 shootout at his home. The Ogden Police Department redacted Stewart's name and that of the tipster, but the address and other descriptions in the reports match Stewart.
The tip about the marijuana grow is described in one paragraph written by an Ogden patrol officer on Sept. 15.
The tipster "stated that she has personally seen a hydroponics grow in [Stewart's] basement," the report says. "She stated that it produces approximately 12-15 marijuana plants. [Redacted] then keeps the the [sic] marijuana in a freezer. He also sells some."
The officer then wrote that he was unable to find any prior police reports about drugs and Stewart.
Stewart's attorney did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
The tip was apparently forwarded to the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, which investigated the case and served a search warrant on Stewart's home at 3268 Jackson Ave.
Court documents have said Stewart failed to answer the door when the strike force knocked and announced themselves. It was while officers searched the house that Stewart jumped out of a hiding spot and began shooting, court documents say.
The shooting killed Ogden officer Jared Francom. Four other officers spent varying amounts of time in the hospital. One officer, Kasey Burrell, remains hospitalized in fair condition, as does Stewart.
The Standard-Examiner on Tuesday reported Stewart was shot in the foot, stomach, arm and buttocks.
Ogden police on Tuesday provided one other report it said involved Stewart. It was written by an officer on Sept. 10.
A woman told police someone broke a key in the door knob on her apartment. The woman was worried it was the result of someone trying to break into her apartment.
"Her concern is that her former boyfriend, [Stewart] may have tried to come in," the report says.
The report goes on to say Stewart and the woman worked together at the Walmart in Riverdale.
"She reports that he had given her a set of earrings as a gift and has since demanded them back," the report says. "She thinks he would be capable of trying to get in her apartment to reclaim them."
But the officer went on to write there were no other signs someone tampered with or forced the door. The officer also wrote that he did not contact Stewart about the broken key. The case was closed.
It's not clear from the documents whether the complainant in the door episode is the same woman who told police about the marijuana grow.
Charges against Matthew David Stewart
Stewart has been charged with aggravated murder as well as seven counts of attempted murder and one count of producing a controlled substance. Weber County Attorney Dee Smith has filed written notice with the court that he intends to pursue the death penalty.