By Kelvin Wade
Imagine you’re driving a car with two of your friends as passengers. They’re both angry with another guy whom they feel ripped them off. They tell you to drive to the guy’s house. You do. You park down the street from the guy’s house. They think they see the guy who ripped them off down the street. Your friend in the passenger seat gets out of the car and you hear a series of eight gunshots. He gets back in the car and tells you to drive. You do so.
The next morning you find out that a City Councilman was shot and killed at the same time and on that same street you were on. You say nothing. In fact, you don’t say anything until you’re arrested.
Now when I look at that scenario, I don’t know how you’d end up walking free from that. Yet that’s exactly what Nicole Stewart has done. She was the driver the evening Henry Don Williams shot Councilman Matt Garcia. She sat in that vehicle while a life was taken and then drove the killers away.
Today, Solano County DA Dave Paulson is retiring. It was Paulson’s office that declined to prosecute Stewart. Fairfield Police originally arrested Stewart on MURDER, conspiracy and felony use of a firearm. She was later rearrested with lesser charges.
Paulson’s office led the public to believe Stewart would be charged as an accessory after the fact. Such a charge could’ve brought a 16-month to 3-year prison sentence. Not long enough for the person who helped facilitate Matt Garcia's murder but better than a clean walk. Later, after releasing Stewart Paulson
said, “We are not aware of any admissible evidence that proves criminal responsibility on her part.”
Really? Did they even try? Or was the plan all along to give her a walk? She was just driving these two guys around and never knew Henry Williams had a weapon? So Williams and Combs never discussed this guy that ripped Combs off? There was no conversation on the way to the house? When Williams stepped out of the car and she heard gunshots did she think he got out to light some firecrackers? And why stay silent about it? Give me a break.
It’s left the family of Matt Garcia to have to encounter this woman in public going about her life. How would you feel if you ran into the person who drove your son’s killers away in a public place?
And it begs the question that if this was the best Paulson could do in the highest profile case of his career, what kind of justice have low profile victims received?
Yes today they’re probably celebrating Paulson’s exit at the DA’s office with cake. His minions are probably applauding the job he’s done.
I’m applauding too. Applauding the fact that he’s leaving.