A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the conviction of the man who shot and killed a Millard County sheriff’s deputy in 2010.
Roberto Miramontes Roman was sentenced last year to life in federal prison — plus 80 years — for the death of Deputy Josie Greathouse-Fox during a traffic stop outside Delta. A federal jury found Roman guilty of killing Fox five years after a jury acquitted him of similar charges during a trial in state court.
In an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Roman’s attorneys argued that the federal jury should have been able to consider the fact that the state jury had deemed him not guilty of the deputy’s killing. The circuit court judges disagreed, ruling that the evidence had little “probative value” and saying it would have been unfair to the government, and could have confused or misled the jury.
Roman’s attorneys have also argued that it’s double jeopardy for the man to stand trial in federal court after being acquitted in state court. The 10th Circuit found in 2015 that the second trial did not violate the law because of “dual sovereignty doctrine,” which holds that two crimes are committed when a defendant commits a single act that violates state and federal laws.
Roman says he didn’t shoot Fox during the Jan. 5, 2010, traffic stop. He testified at both trials that he was in a car with Fox’s brother Ryan Greathouse at the time and says it was Greathouse who shot and killed her with an AK-47 after she pulled them over. The men had been smoking methamphetamine.
Greathouse died of a drug overdose in Las Vegas months after his sister’s death. Before he died, Greathouse told deputies he bought drugs from Roman and another man shortly before his sister was killed, authorities said.
Roman initially confessed to killing Fox but professed his innocence during the trials, saying that Greathouse had threatened him.