Ogden • An attorney representing Ogden shootout suspect Matthew David Stewart said Wednesday he will ask for some of the criminal charges against the man to be dismissed before trial.
Stewart appeared in 2nd District Court on Wednesday for a hearing updating the status of his case. Stewart missed the last such hearing, in June, because he had been readmitted to a hospital for treatment related to the gunshot wounds he received during a Jan. 4 shootout with police.
Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force Agent Jared Francom, 30, died during the gun battle. Five other officers were wounded.
Stewart, 38, is charged with capital murder and eight other felonies.
Prosecutors have filed notice they will seek the death penalty against Stewart.
At issue Wednesday was when to hold a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors must demonstrate there is probable cause to proceed to trial on each of the counts. Attorneys on both sides said they are waiting for a final ballistics report.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Chris Shaw asked Judge Noel Hyde to schedule the preliminary hearing, saying victims' families want the case to proceed.
"This case has been delayed already," Shaw said.
Hyde told the lawyers to keep two sets of dates open on their calenders Oct. 3, 4, and 5 and Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2 for the hearing. But Hyde did not set a date for the preliminary hearing.
Hyde instead scheduled another hearing, at 10 a.m. on July 30, to discuss the status of the case.
At some preliminary hearings, defense attorneys call no witnesses and do not challenge the evidence directly. Instead, they use the hearing to ask probing questions of prosecution witnesses. The defense can then use the answers to aid the defendant at trial.
But defense attorney Randall Richards told Hyde he plans to call witnesses at Stewart's preliminary hearing. Outside the courtroom, Richards said he plans to challenge "basically all" of the counts filed against Stewart.
"If we can establish one or more of the charges aren't there, then we're going to try to dismiss them," Richards said.
Richards would not discuss specifics of Stewart's health. But Richards said: "He's feeling pretty good."
In an interview earlier this year with The Tribune, Stewart said he suffered gunshot wounds to one leg and his abdomen and was using a colostomy bag. When he hasn't been under guard in a hospital or courtroom, Stewart has been held without bail in the Weber County jail.