During 6 News at 5:30 on Tuesday, 6 News ran a story from the Associated Press which claimed that a Michigan man serving a life sentence in the death of his wife showed police to where he buried the body in exchange for an Xbox.
We now know that detail is not true.
Chris Gautz, a spokesperson for The Michigan Department of Corrections said the MDOC is working on getting entertainment equipment for the cell block where Doug Stewart is imprisoned, but that effort has nothing to do with his decision to show police where he buried Venus Stewart’s body in Kalamazoo County.
Stewart claimed to be innocent for years but says he has since decided to try to make amends.
Gautz issued a statement to 6 News saying that Stewart asked for a number of things including to be able to go to his parents funerals when they pass away, at the MDOC’s expense, all of which it denied.
His statement continues by saying the following:
“It is not our practice to negotiate with prisoners in matters like this. One of the things he did request was an Xbox for his housing unit.
He lives in a specialized housing unit for prisoners who are military veterans, and we had already been making plans to provide several used and donated Xbox’s as an incentive for prisoners in that unit who exhibit good behavior. Again, these are not being paid for at taxpayer expense, they cannot connect to the internet and no violent video games are permitted.
He will be one of 140 or so prisoners in that unit that will have the ability to play sports video games located in the unit’s dayroom, a half hour at a time.
These were not concessions to this prisoner. The MDOC believed if we could help the family get closure by expediting these programs that we already were in the process of implementing, this would work to the advantage of the MSP and the victim’s family.”