Ex-husband: Stewart was a naive woman

September 15, 2008 7:09:04 PM PDT
We're learning more about one of the suspects arrested in the murder of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia. According to people close to her, Nicole Stewart was a devoted wife and mother who often went out of her way to help others, until her life took a dramatic turn earlier this year.

Her family and friends say they never saw it coming. Nicole Stewart's arrest as the getaway driver in the murder of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia.

Stewart's ex-husband told ABC7 his marriage fell apart in January when Stewart became involved with a co-worker, Henry Don Williams.

"My ex-wife is just a very trusting and somewhat naive woman who has no malice in her heart whatsoever," said Nicole's ex-husband Brian Stewart.

The 33-year-old woman was arrested Saturday morning, along with 45-year-old Gene Allen Combs. Police are still searching for Williams, whose car was found in Berkeley.

According to investigators, all three suspects were in Williams' car when it approached Matt Garcia the night he was killed, and that Williams was the likely shooter.

Police believe it was a case of mistaken identity.

"How unfortunate it is that if it turns out to be true, that Matt Garcia was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price.

A close friend of Stewart's told abc7 off-camera, Stewart and Williams worked together at professional hospital supply in Fairfield, until the couple was let go earlier this year.

They're reportedly expecting a child together.

Now Nicole Stewart sits in the Solano County jail awaiting arraignment on charges that could send her to prison for the rest of her life, just as she's about to give birth.

"If she were to go into labor and the birthing process started, she would be transported to one of the hospitals," said Solano County Jail Deputy Daryl Snedeker.

Meantime, about two dozen people have applied to fill Matt Garcia's seat on the Fairfield City Council, including Kevin Shortridge.

"Hopefully we're going to make sure that the sacrifice that has occurred will not be in vain, for any reason whatsoever," said Shortridge.

Stewart and combs will be arraigned on murder, conspiracy and felony weapons charges Tuesday afternoon.


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