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Utah double-murder trial re-set for 2015

Published April 9, 2014 4:42 pm

Courts • In September, the suspect's defense asked for more time to consider mental issues.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ogden • A trial for a man accused of killing a Roy mother and son more than three years ago has been postponed until 2015.

Jeremy Lee Valdes, 36, is charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court with two counts of capital murder for the 2009 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.

Valdes' trial was cancelled last September after his defense attorneys told a judge they needed more time to explore possible mental issues. The seven-week trial was rescheduled to begin in June.

However, on Tuesday, one of Valdes' public defenders, Gary Barr, asked Judge Mark DeCaria if he could be taken off the case, citing health issues, according to court records.

DeCaria granted Barr's request, which leaves Randall Marshall as Valdes' only attorney. Because another attorney is required for cases where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, attorneys asked for the June trial to be stricken so another qualified defense attorney can be appointed.

DeCaria rescheduled the trial dates, with the trial now set to begin on Jan. 20, 2015.

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.

jmiller@sltrib.com