Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Trial for Utah man accused of double murder delayed
Courts » Jeremy Lee Valdes is accused of killing Roy mother and son in 2009.
First Published Aug 29 2013 03:14 pm • Last Updated Aug 30 2013 04:28 pm

Ogden • A September trial for a man accused of killing a Roy mother and son more than three years ago has been postponed until next year as defense attorneys explore possible mental issues.

Jeremy Lee Valdes, 36, is charged in 2nd District Court with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Matthew Roddy, 30, and Pamela Knight Jeffries, 53. He is also charged with second-degree felony obstructing justice, and joyriding and two counts of abuse or desecration of a human body, all third-degree felonies.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On Thursday, 2nd District Judge Mark DeCaria granted a continuance of next month’s setting, and rescheduled the seven-week trial to begin June 3, 2014.

In the Valdes case, defense attorney Randall Marshall told a judge Tuesday they have three concerns they want to address: whether Valdes’ confession to police was voluntary, whether he has a diminished mental capacity, and whether a mental defect may have resulted in a "false confession" by Valdes.

After an MRI and other tests, a defense expert concluded that Valdes has "frontal lobe executive dysfunction," which impairs Valdes’ ability to plan, organize or execute a goal. This may allow Valdes to raise a "diminished mental capacity defense," his attorneys wrote in a motion asking for the trial delay.

Weber County Attorney Dee Smith told the judge on Tuesday that prosecutors have issues with the expert and may try to disqualify him.

Also Tuesday, Deputy Weber County Attorney Branden Miles objected to the delay and read aloud from letters written by the victims’ families.

"I really need some kind of closure," Miles read from a letter written by Roddy’s father, Christopher Roddy. "It’s like a slap in the face to keep this going on."

But on Thursday, Smith told the judge that while the victims’ families were not happy about the continuance, they understand why more time is needed. "They want it done right, and they want it done once," Smith said.

Before postponing the trial, DeCaria asked Valdes directly if he accepted that he would sit in the Weber County jail at least until next June. Valdes said he understood, and waived his right to a speedy trial.


story continues below
story continues below

"I feel for Matt and Pam’s family," Valdes told the judge. "I feel for everyone in this case. I don’t want to further their pain in any way, but I do want a fair trial."

On Nov. 25, 2009, Valdes allegedly fatally stabbed Roddy during an argument about stolen prescription drugs. Police believe Valdes then beat Jeffries, Roddy’s mother, before leaving her unconscious with a plastic trash bag around her head, and stuffing her and Roddy into a closet.

Miranda Statler, Valdes’ girlfriend, was charged with moving the bodies, stealing Matthew Roddy’s car and lying to police. She pleaded guilty in 2010 to obstructing justice and was sentenced to prison for up to 15 years.

Weber County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Valdes.

all.justice@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.