Former prison guard convicted of murder in shooting over fireworks

Local News

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A former Colorado prison guard has been found guilty of murder in a shooting over a fireworks dispute.

Scott Mathews, 29, was convicted of all three counts against him, including second-degree murder, felony menacing and assault. An Arapahoe County jury delivered the verdict on Thursday.

He will be sentenced in April.

Mathews was a Colorado Department of Corrections prison guard until he lost his job over the shooting. Mathews fatally shot 36-year-old Jaharie Wheeler on July 4, 2019.

An affidavit from Mathews’ arrest at the time showed he was upset over Wheeler’s girlfriend and her two children lighting fireworks in their Aurora apartment complex, saying the noise upset his dog.

Mathews and his girlfriend confronted the mother, and the argument escalated. Both Mathews and his girlfriend drew a gun, and the mother threw her drink at Mathews, according to the affidavit. Mathews ultimately headbutted the mother and pointed his gun at her.

Wheeler came out to find his girlfriend bleeding and confronted Mathews, according to the affidavit. Wheeler threw a punch, and Mathews shot him in the chest and killed him. Mathews was taken into custody the next day.

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