Suspect in Fairfield councilman's death released

Solano County prosecutors are not filing charges against a woman who allegedly drove the getaway car in the shooting death of a Fairfield City Council member.

Police had arrested Fairfield resident Nicole Stewart, 33, on suspicion of murder in connection with 22-year-old Matt Garcia’s death.

But the Solano County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Stewart was released from jail under the protection of investigators after they found no evidence she had committed a crime.

“We are not aware of any admissible evidence that proves criminal responsibility on her part,” Solano County District Attorney David Paulson said in a statement released Thursday.

Authorities have charged 45-year-old Gene Allen Combs of Suisun City with murder. Police are still searching for 32-year-old Henry Don Williams of Fairfield, who they say fired the gun that killed Garcia.

Combs made his first court appearance Thursday.

Paulson said investigators on the case found new evidence this week that implicated Combs.

“On Tuesday, we had nothing more than a suspicion of Combs’s responsibility for the murder, but suspicion is not evidence. Now, we have evidence,” Paulson said in the statement.

Prosecutors say Stewart’s testimony is essential in winning convictions against the two other suspects in the case.  Stewart, who is in protective custody since Williams is still at large, is nine months pregnant.

Garcia was talking with an 18-year-old friend outside of her home the night of Sept. 2, when Williams allegedly shot him in the back of the head. Combs was in Williams’ car that night; Stewart was driving, police said.

Thousands of mourners attended a memorial for Garcia held Sept. 9. Sworn into office at age 21, Garcia was remembered by friends and associates as a passionate young man who took his office seriously and advocated for ways to keep youth out of trouble.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & Courts

Just Posted

California Highway Patrol officers watch as Caltrans workers remove barricades from homeless camp sites as residents are forced to relocate from a parking lot underneath Interstate 80 on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s broken promise to resolve homeless encampments

‘There is an idea that The City is leading with services, and they are not’

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

FILE — Mort Sahl on Nov. 10, 1967. Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural complacency with acid stage monologues, delivering biting social commentary in the guise of a stand-up comedian and thus changing the nature of both stand-up comedy and social commentary, died on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at his home in Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. He was 94. (Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)
Legendary local comedian dies at 94

By Bruce Weber NYTimes News Service Mort Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural… Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten (left) reached out to Angel Olsen about working on a song and they ended up releasing “Like I Used To,” which may be performed at Outside Lands. (Photo by Dana Trippe)
Performers’ emotions are high as Outside Lands returns to San Francisco

Festival features Sharon Van Etten and Boy Scouts alongside The Strokes, Lizzo and Tame Impala

Most Read