Corrections officer arrested on suspicion of murder in July 4 death of Aurora man

AURORA, Colo. — A Colorado Department of Corrections officer has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the July 4 death of a man at the Greensview Apartment Complex in Aurora.

Scott Mathews Jr., 26, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, after he and witnesses were interviewed, according to a Friday news release from the Aurora Police Department.

Police responded to the report of shots being fired around 10:29 p.m. July 4, at the Greensview Apartment Complex, 16498 E. Alameda Place. Upon arrival, officers found an adult man with a gunshot wound. According to the release, the man was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to the arrest affidavit, a man and woman who work for the Department of Corrections became upset when a 14-year-old boy, 9-year-old girl and their mother began lighting fireworks at an apartment complex at 16498 E. Alameda Pl.

Mathews and his girlfriend, Katherine O’Neal, argued with the group, saying that the fireworks scared their dog. Both were armed with handguns when they confronted the woman and her children.

Throughout the course of the argument, O’Neal admitted to drawing her gun but said that she didn’t point it at anyone, the affidavit states.

At one point, Mathews allegedly headbutted the children’s mother, Shamira Cotton, and pointed his gun at her while yelling profanities, she told police. Cotton admitted to throwing her drink at Mathews during the encounter.

Cotton’s boyfriend, Jaharie Wheeler, came out of his apartment to find his girlfriend bleeding, according to the affidavit.

The two men began arguing and the affidavit said that Wheeler threw a punch at Mathews, who then drew his gun on Wheeler and shot him in the chest, killing him.

On Monday, July 22, a judge lowered Matthews’ bond to $50,000 from $100,000. He will be required to wear a GPS monitor.

Mathews was working at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, according to a news release from the Department of Corrections.

“First and foremost, I am praying for the family of the gentleman who was killed in this extremely tragic situation,” said Dean Williams, Colorado Department of Corrections executive director, in the release. “We will assist the Aurora Police Department with anything they may need from us as they continue their investigation. We take this issue very seriously, and while he was off duty when this incident occurred, we will still conduct the appropriate internal review into this matter.”

Mathews is the second Colorado Department of Corrections officer working at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility to be arrested this month. Another, Joshua Hensley, 38, was arrested on two counts of suspicion of attempted pimping and one county of patronizing a prostitute.

Mathews was acting as a civilian at the time of the shooting, according to police, but because he is a corrections officer the Aurora Police Department is investigating the incident with the Denver Police Department and the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone who may have been a witness, or has information about the incident, is asked to call Aurora police at 303-739-6127. Tipsters can also remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 by contacting Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867.

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