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Aurora man who shot neighbor during dispute over fireworks convicted of second degree murder

Scott Mathews, 29, was convicted Thursday of the July 2019 shooting of 36-year-old Jaharie Wheeler.

AURORA, Colo. — An Arapahoe County jury has found a corrections officer guilty of second degree murder after, police said, he shot his neighbor during a fight about children setting off fireworks.

Court records show Scott Mathews, 29, was also convicted Thursday on felony menacing and assault charges in connection with the July 4, 2019 shooting of 36-year-old Jaharie Wheeler at an Aurora apartment complex.

RELATED: Affidavit: Corrections officer shot neighbor during argument about fireworks

According to an arrest affidavit, the altercation began between the two men's girlfriends. It says on the night of July 4, Wheeler's girlfriend's 14-year-old stepson and 9-year-old daughter shot off fireworks in the apartment courtyard.

Mathews' girlfriend told police the fireworks scared her dog, so she began yelling at the children, according to the affidavit.

That led to an argument between the two women, according to the affidavit, and Mathews stepped in.

The affidavit says Mathews headbutted Wheeler's girlfriend, who also told police Mathews pointed a handgun at her but later holstered it. 

The fight drew the attention of Wheeler, according to the affidavit, who came out of his apartment and punched Mathews when he saw blood on his girlfriend's face from where she had been headbutted.

The affidavit says there was a struggle between the two men, during which Mathews pulled out his gun again and fired one shot at Wheeler. He later died at a hospital.

As he was being arrested, according to the affidavit, Mathews admitted to an officer that he had shot Wheeler.

Sentencing is set for April 27.

Mathews was a corrections officer for the Colorado Department of Corrections at the time of the shooting.

RELATED: New Aurora community group to address crime issues

This article draws from previous reporting by 9NEWS.

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