Authorities: Man Shot by Deptford Police Officer Dies

Deptford officer James Stuart is now charged with murder in the shooting of Woodbury resident David Compton, inside the officer's home.

Update, 4:05 p.m., 1/11/13: The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office on Friday afternoon clarified the bail status for Deptford Police Officer James Stuart. His bail is set at $250,000.

"Initially it was set at $500,000, but after a further review of the defendant’s circumstances, the court changed the amount to $250,000," the prosecutor's office said in a release. "The purpose of bail is to insure the defendant’s appearance in court when required."


A Woodbury man shot in the head by a Deptford police officer inside the officer's home died early Friday, and now the officer is charged with murder, prosecutors said. 

David Compton, 27, was taken off life support at Cooper University Hospital in Camden and died about 1 a.m. Friday, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. 

Deptford Police Officer James Stuart, 29, was charged Friday with first-degree murder in Compton's death. 

He was taken into custody, and his bail was set at $500,000. 

Stuart was initially charged with two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting, which happened about 5 a.m. Jan. 5, inside the officer's home in the 200 block of Stanford Avenue in Deptford. Compton suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. 

Stuart had been released from custody Jan. 5 after posting $10,000 bail on the assault charges. Stuart, a five-year police veteran, was suspended with pay from the Deptford Police Department following the incident. 

Compton and Stuart knew each other for several years, and the indicent was not random, said prosecutors, who have not disclosed a motive for the shooting. 

cindi January 16, 2013 at 09:40 PM
John cokos did not really ask a logistical question. He was merely wishing that he had the facts like I did. I'd rather not state all of my facts. (I am not trying to screw up the case). But the path of the bullet is a big step. I know the law and the reason why he is being charged with what he is curently.(which may change by trial time). There is a certain stipulation that mandates the murder charge be given under the circumstance. However, that is most likely to change before trial. It is all about having knowledge about the law and using all resources available like I have previously stated. There is more to than just reading articles such as this online. That would not be using resources.
John Cokos January 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Where do I start ? What we have here is CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE .....the fact that so many people, so quickly, (including myself) will come to the IMMIDATE conclusion that they MUST be hiding something. It's a Systermic issue, goes to all level's of Gov. It's here, it's there, IT'S EVERYWHERE... As far as I'm concerned, you'll have to prove THAT YOUR NOT LYING (not YOU, but the local and other upper level's of authority) The debate for me not so much the endless details of this case, but the issue of transparency and Trust. They have to work hard for that...
Mr. Mef February 14, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Stuart is openly gay and they WERE lovers. If you meet Stuart on the street and ask him is he gay he will most certainly say yes. He has been openly gay since high school at Deptford High. He murdered that man and he deserves to rott in jail. He was a member of the corrupt Deptford Police department and thought he could get away with it. I personally had encounters with him where he illegally pulled me over and and gave me false tickets. He, like most of the Deptford Police Department, thinks that they are above the law and can't be touched. I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail but we all know that's not going to happen.
John Burress February 16, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Latest story on this case. Not sure why westdeptfordpatch won't provide updates. If they have and I missed it I do apologize. The family of a Woodbury engineer allegedly killed last month by an off-duty Deptford Township patrolman is challenging the officer's suggestion - in an emergency call early on the morning of the fatal shooting in the officer's home - that the victim might have shot himself. James Stuart, 29, of Deptford, was first charged with two counts of aggravated assault after his friend David Compton, 27, was shot once in the head on Jan. 5. The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office upgraded the charge to murder on Jan. 11 after Compton was taken off life support. In a recently released transcript and audio that included the 31/2-minute emergency call Stuart made to his department seeking an ambulance, the officer said to a dispatcher: "We had a, a, a man, he was, ah, playing with a weapon, it was loaded and, ah, he, there was a shot fired." In a statement released Thursday through a lawyer, the Compton family said: "It is our understanding that the version of the shooting that Mr. Stuart provided to the dispatcher from his own police department is not supported by the evidence obtained thus far by the investigators from [the] Prosecutor's Office. This is why we believe Mr. Stuart is currently facing murder charges." Update continued below.
John Burress February 16, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Stuart said during his call that Compton "was playing with one of my weapons," but did not say who the shooter was. "I don't know how it happened," he said. Last Friday, authorities complied with a Superior Court order to release the transcript of the call after redacting Compton's words heard in the call. Stuart's attorney, James Eastlack Jr., had sought to prevent the South Jersey Media group from getting the recording. On Wednesday, authorities, complying with a second court order, released the call's audio, again without Compton's words. Eastlack could not be reached Thursday. While emergency calls are generally public record, Compton's words "are protected by a reasonable expectation of privacy, both his and his family's," Superior Court Judge Georgia M. Curio said during a January proceeding. Compton's family has declined to be interviewed. The family said it appreciated Curio's sensitivity in ordering that the transcript and audio of Stuart's "self-serving call to his own department" be released only in edited formats and that their release "has forced us to relive this horrific event once again." Link to story: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130215_Survivors_reject_Deptford_officer_s_suggestion_that_victim_may_have_shot_himself.html


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