Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Roberto Miramontes Román in court, Friday, August 17, 2012.
Attorneys for man accused of shooting Utah deputy asks for case dismissal
Courts » They say his acquittal for murder in state court makes case double jeopardy.
First Published Apr 30 2014 12:41 pm • Last Updated Sep 16 2014 01:25 pm

Attorneys for Roberto Miramontes Roman — who was acquitted in state court of aggravated murder — have asked a judge to dismiss a federal court case against the man, arguing that charges related to the killing a Millard County Sheriff’s deputy during a 2010 traffic stop amounts to double jeopardy.

"Not guilty," the motion to dismiss begins. "Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. One by one, all eight jurors polled by the trial judge pronounced the verdict in State of Utah v. Roberto Miramontes Roman."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On August 17, 2012, Roman was acquitted of aggravated murder in the killing of Josie Greathouse Fox.

But roughly a year later, a federal grand jury indicted the man on charges that he intentionally killed a law enforcement officer and committed other crimes leading up to and related to the shooting of Fox in January 2010.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Roman’s attorneys argue that their client has either been convicted or acquitted in district court of all of the federal court charges and should not be facing them again.

"Little did Mr. Roman or any of the jurors know that the [Aug. 17] proceedings during which the rest of Roman’s life was at stake would be more properly characterized as a trial run than a jury trial," defense attorney Jeremy Delicino wrote in the motion.

When the 11-count indictment was returned in September, David Barlow, U.S. Attorney for Utah, said filing federal charges was not a do-over of the district court trial, but rather was an indication that federal interests were not resolved in state court proceedings against Roman.

"The state government and federal government are always free to pursue their own prosecutions," he said during a news conference.

Roman’s attorneys said in their motion that federal prosecutors are relying on the "dual sovereignty exception" to the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause. They argue that this exception is highly criticized by legal experts and is unconstitutional.

"The comfort provided by the finality of a verdict is purely illusory if the dual sovereignty exception permits one governmental entity to ignore the outcome of a trial by another," the motion reads.


story continues below
story continues below

Roman allegedly initially confessed to killing Fox after she pulled over his vehicle around 1 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2010. He later recanted and, during his state court trial, claimed another man — the deputy’s brother — shot Fox with an AK-47. Deputies had been tailing the two for several hours as part of a drug investigation.

Fox’s brother, Ryan Greathouse, committed suicide in 2010 and never testified in the case.

A 4th District Court jury acquitted Roman of the aggravated murder charge for allegedly killing Fox, but found him guilty of two lesser third-degree felonies — tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a restricted person. He was sentenced in October 2012 to two consecutive zero-to-five-year prison terms.

Roman has pleaded not guilty to federal charges, which include one count of killing a law enforcement officer while fleeing apprehension on a drug violation, one count of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence (killing Fox), three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, three counts of possession of a firearm while drug trafficking, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts related to immigration violations.

He faces a potential life sentence on several of the counts if convicted, including the allegation that he killed Fox. Several of the firearm charges also carry potential penalties of life in prison.

A one-week trial is scheduled to begin in November.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller



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.