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When Román took the witness stand in his own defense Thursday he told the jury that after selling and smoking methamphetamine with Greathouse in the early morning on Jan. 5, 2010, he and Greathouse drove toward Hinkley. Román wanted to collect money Greathouse owed him for drugs, but Fox pulled them over.
Román said Greathouse picked up an AK-47, placed the weapon against Fox’s chest and fired twice.
Greathouse began crying and told him that he had shot his sister, said Román, who claimed he drove Greathouse to his home after agreeing to take the blame for the shooting and intending to flee to Mexico.
Román — who later confessed to police that he, Román, had shot the deputy — said Thursday it was because Greathouse had threatened his family.
When defense attorneys asked Román why he didn’t mention this following Greathouse’s overdose death, which ended the potential threat, Román answered that the trial was his first chance to testify.
Police have testified seeing Greathouse’s Ford truck and Román’s Cadillac leave in separate directions following the meeting on McCornick Road, where the drug deal allegedly occurred.
But Román explained that a third man who was with them — someone whose name he does not remember — had agreed to drive Greathouse’s truck home while Román and Greathouse went to collect the money.
Fox’s sergeant, Rhett Kimball, has testified he saw two vehicles stop briefly on a rural road near McCornick. He ordered Fox to follow the Cadillac and gave her the go-ahead to make the traffic stop just outside of Delta because there was a question about whether the owner of the car had an outstanding warrant.
"10-4," Fox said over the radio just after 1 a.m. on Jan. 5. "I’ll be over by the ballpark."
Those were the last words anyone heard from the 37-year-old deputy, prosecutors say, other than Román.
According to testimony earlier this week, Román fled north to Nephi and later to Salt Lake City, following the shooting. From there, he and another man, Ruben Chavez-Reyes, rode buses and TRAX trains south. They took a limousine around Utah County and later a cab to Beaver for $300. There they hoped to find a friend who could help them flee to Mexico, police said.
Prosecutors had intended to pursue the death penalty, but it was removed from consideration after Eyre determined Román was ineligible because he met the legal definition of mental retardation.
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