Aurora officer accused of tampering with evidence in nephew’s weapons case

ERIE, Colo. -- An Aurora police officer has been arrested and is accused of tampering with evidence in a case involving his nephew.

Matthew Ewert is facing two felony counts of attempting to influence a public servant, one felony count of tampering with physical evidence and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct, according to the arrest affidavit.

The affidavit states officers with the Erie Police Department were investigating claims that a 14-year-old boy had pointed a handgun at another teen boy on July 1.

An officer made contact with a teen boy matching the suspect's description and patted him down, but didn't find any weapons.

Later, officers went to speak to the teen who reported the incident.

The teen told police the 14-year-old suspect had a small, black gun in his waistband, and that he pulled out the gun, removed the magazine and took out one bullet. The suspect then gave the bullet to the teen.

Officers noted the bullet was a 9 mm Winchester Luger +P hollow point.

A few days later, officers obtained photos of the 14-year-old suspect that appeared to show him holding a Glock handgun and a Glock magazine loaded with hollow point rounds.

Officers went to the home of the 14-year-old suspect, who lives with his grandparents, according to the affidavit.

The suspect initially told the officers he had a BB gun he got from Walmart, as well as an airsoft gun with a hammer and a pellet gun.

The suspect said his aunt took all three guns to her house. The suspect said his aunt and her husband, Ewert, are officers with the Aurora Police Department.

Later, the teen suspect told investigators that his grandfather owned a Glock 26. The teen admitted the Glock was the gun in the pictures, but said he didn't know where the gun was now.

The grandfather said he keeps one gun in the house for protection. When he handed over the gun to officers, they noted one bullet was missing.

There were 14 bullets in a magazine that could hold 15. The bullets were 9 mm Winchester Luger +P hollow points, according to the affidavit.

On July 6, officers returned to collect the gun as evidence, but the grandfather said his son-in-law, Ewert, had come over the night before and taken the gun.

Later that day, investigators discovered that on July 3, Ewert had requested the report on the incident from Erie police and had claimed he was investigating the case.

Officers later executed a search warrant at Ewert's house.

Ewert told the officers he would let them take the handgun out of a safe in his garage, but he would be doing it "under duress."

Ewert then said he had removed the bullets from the magazine and put them in a blue plastic tub, along with duty ammunition provided by the Aurora Police Department.

There were 89 bullets in the plastic tub, which were identified as 9 mm Winchester Luger +P hollow points.

Investigators later determined Ewert had also requested and received reports on the case on July 7.

Investigators stated that, based on the facts and circumstances, they believed there was probable cause to arrest Ewert. They requested a warrant on Monday.

Ewert was ordered not to have any weapons or to have any contact with the juveniles involved, or any of their family members.