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.

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