Former  prison guard pleads not guilty in July 4 fatal shooting in Aurora

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Scott Mathews

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AURORA, Colo. — A former Colorado Department of Corrections officer has pleaded not guilty after authorities say he fatally shot a man after a dispute about fireworks.

The Aurora Sentinel reported Monday that 27-year-old Scott Mathews Jr. was charged with second-degree murder after police say he fatally shot 36-year-old Jaharie Wheeler on July 4.

Authorities say the men got into a fight after Mathews and his girlfriend approached Wheeler and his girlfriend concerned their dogs would become frightened by fireworks being set off by Wheeler’s children in the Greensview Apartment Complex courtyard.

Authorities say video footage showed Wheeler pushing and punching Mathews before Mathews shot him once in the chest.

Mathews is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 16.

Authorities say Mathews worked for the state for more than three years but was fired after the shooting.

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