Accused Utah Cop-Killer Had Antigovernment Views
A Utah man accused of murdering one police officer and wounding five others developed antigovernment views after being fired as an armed security guard for the IRS, his father told Hatewatch today.
Matthew David Stewart, a 37-year-old decorated Army veteran accused of fatally shooting a police officer in January, previously worked for a private contractor providing security at the IRS Service Center and nine other IRS offices scattered throughout Ogden, Utah, said his father, Michael Stewart.
His son was fired after he was caught accessing a computer network in an IRS building while pulling a graveyard shift, the father said. After a period of unemployment, Matthew Stewart was hired to stock shelves at Wal-Mart, a job he still held on Jan. 4, when members of a Weber County, Utah, drug task force showed up, looking for marijuana plants in his Ogden home.
In an ensuing exchange of gunfire, Matthew Stewart is accused of fatally shooting Ogden police officer Jared Francom, assigned to the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, and wounding five other officers involved in serving the search warrant. If convicted, Stewart faces a possible death penalty.
Court documents filed in the aggravated murder case allege that Stewart previously made several antigovernment statements to a former girlfriend, enjoyed playing “World of Warcraft” computer games, was intrigued by conspiracies surrounding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and didn’t believe the Constitution gives the federal government the right to collect taxes.
The girlfriend told investigators that Stewart said if the IRS ever forced him to pay taxes, “he knew how to get into the IRS [buildings] and once inside he would kill IRS employees.” The woman, whose identity is redacted from court documents, now reportedly is in hiding after her identity was divulged on a Facebook page for supporters of Matthew Stewart.