Suspects in Utah deputy's slaying caught; death penalty sought

Suspects in Utah deputy's slaying caught; death penalty sought

By Bob Mims And Nate Carlisle

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 01/06/2010 12:10:44 PM MST

Deputy Josie Fox killed

Jan 6:

Fallen officer remembered for unwavering compassionJan 5:
Statewide manhunt under way for alleged cop killerBoth suspects sought in the slaying of a Millard County sheriff's deputy were captured Wednesday morning in Beaver County, and prosecutors have already said they intend to seek the death penalty for one.

Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel confirmed that Roberto Miramontes Roman, the alleged killer of Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox, and a "person of interest," Ruben Chavez Reyes, were taken into custody without incident about 8:15 a.m.

"We got a tip and found them asleep in a shed. Deputies and SWAT officers went in and removed them," Noel said.

He said the suspects were being transferred at an unspecified time later Wednesday to Millard County's custody in Fillmore. The shed where the suspects were found was behind a home in a mobile home park, in the outskirts of northern Beaver. Security was tight around the scene Wednesday morning, as Utah Highway Patrol, Beaver County and Millard County sheriff's deputies and federal agents combed the area.

Roman has been charged with aggravated murder, a capital felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. As of noon, the suspects were still being held in the Beaver County Jail pending transfer later Wednesday to the Millard County Jail in Fillmore.

Fox, a 37-year-old mother of two, was gunned down about 1 a.m. Tuesday about one mile east of Delta, shortly after she pulled over a 1995 gray Cadillac Deville driven by Roman. Sheriff's investigators say Roman, 37, possibly armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, opened fire on Fox, killing her with a bullet that entered her chest just above her protective vest.

Roman's car was one of two vehicles deputies were watching Tuesday in connection with possible thefts and break-ins in the area. The driver of the second car, according to court documents filed Tuesday, was Ryan Greathouse, Fox's brother. The documents say that during the meeting on the dirt road, Greathouse bought drugs from Roman.

The Millard County sheriff said he is not seeking criminal charges against 40-year-old Greathouse.

When visited at his home, Greathouse admitted he bought drugs from Roman, court documents say. He told them Roman's telephone number and said Roman had family on Salt Lake City's west side.

That put the hunt into high gear. A ping of Roman's cell phone produced a hit from a tower on Interstate 15 in Salt Lake County. About 4 a.m., a state trooper near 1100 West and 300 South in Salt Lake City found an orange Corvette with the license plate that belonged to the Cadillac.

Three SWAT teams deployed in that neighborhood looking for Roman. Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said the teams found Roman's uncle hiding in a shed, but no sign

of Roman.

Meanwhile police found the Cadillac abandoned outside Nephi. Police there received information Roman might be at the home of a female acquaintance near 600 East and 100 North.

Nephi Police Chief Mike Morgan said the woman was uncooperative and a SWAT team was called. The woman eventually left the house and police questioned her, Morgan said. When she consented to a search, police found no one inside the house.

Documents filed Tuesday in state court in Fillmore included aggravated murder charges against Roman, which is punishable by death. Roman was also charged with a felony count of evidence tampering for allegedly changing the license plate on the cars.

Roman, apparently a Mexican national in the country illegally, has a significant criminal history, beginning in 1992 with a misdemeanor drug distribution charge to which he pleaded guilty in Fillmore.

Then in 1996 and 1997, Roman was charged in Millard County with in two different cases with a handful of felonies, including drug charges, receiving stolen property and a weapons count.

He was sent to prison for up to 15 years after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree felony drug possession with intent to distribute and one count of third-degree felony drug possession.

In the 1996 case, an informant told police he had been selling drugs for Roman for about a year, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court. The informant also told police he had traded a Tech 9mm semi-automatic pistol to Roman for drugs, and that he believed Roman kept the weapon and a cache of illegal drugs in a back bedroom of his Delta area trailer home.

On Sept. 15, 1998, Roman was released from prison into the custody of immigration authorities and deported.

Greathouse was convicted of a misdemeanor drug charge in 1994 and again in 2004, according to court documents. Tuesday's documents do not specify what drug he allegedly bought.

-- Stephen Hunt and Mark Havnes contributed to this report.

9 Comments

4 years 49 weeks ago, 2:22 PM

ecaman

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Tragic case

Every single comment about the deputy was incredibly positive. She was apparently extremely well liked & respected. The town & area in which she lived are in mourning & in shock. This was the lead story in all state media yesterday.
Early today the story came out that the alleged perpetrator was apprehended at about 8:00 AM.
He's charged with aggravated murder, which has a death penalty. Utah will have no qualms about putting him to death if found guilty.
All comments I've heard today have called for his execution, from both sexes & all ages.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 49 weeks ago, 4:08 PM

daisycutter

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'nuf said.

iyaoyas
4 years 49 weeks ago, 9:21 PM

zx12rmike

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They know what to do, just do it!

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
4 years 49 weeks ago, 9:31 PM

greg az

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And he's still out, i see they named him the "person of intrest" today.. So sad to see her family on tv. The fact is it's hard to prosecute with out a body.. Sad but true, and the reason Drew Petersons never been charged. When this sorta stuff happens in Utah it makes you wonder if theres any place sane left in the world.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 49 weeks ago, 9:45 PM

dodew

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ecaman...

we still have the hangmens gallows at our county seat about 10 miles from me that i've been asking if we can knock the dust off of and go back to public executions and set some examples. So sad to here about good people losing their lives to POS's like this.

"I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children live in peace." Thomas Payne- Revolutionist
4 years 49 weeks ago, 9:57 PM

ecaman

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Public executions

Dodew/Mike, that's a great idea. Even if it didn't deter others from doing the same crime, it would be a hell of a way to keep score. Hang the bastards & leave them hanging until the buzzards & crows ate the flesh off of them, then crush the bones & use them for road building aggregate.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 49 weeks ago, 10:03 PM

dodew

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Hell ya Bob...

we could even use them for yote bait around here. I wonder how long a POS will keep in the freezer.LOL

"I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children live in peace." Thomas Payne- Revolutionist
4 years 49 weeks ago, 10:03 PM

greg az

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This is really cool, it's on the main drag of Florence which is your basic one stop light small town. The prison donated all the old memorabilia in the 80's when the city fathers decided to redue to mueseum to bring in some tourist bucks. This is the part you guys will like.
the main ledger shows Inmates incarceration date, sentence, time frames, etc. This is an absolute fact. Must have read 20 or 30 of these as they were so amazing. Inmate would come in on say Aug 20th, and if the sentence was death (crimes that merited death sentance were appropriate, no horse thief stuff) it was carried out inside 6 weeks MAX.. so the guy in on 8/20 was exicuted on say 9/30, or 10/10 that same year.. Better believe it was a deterent then!..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 49 weeks ago, 10:09 PM

dodew

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Whatever happened

to carrying out sentances in a swift manner like that. Found guilty punished to death walk out the court room and blow there damn brains out on main.....well how bout go back to the hanging thing. That way it would be more of a family event. Talk about a life lesson.

"I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children live in peace." Thomas Payne- Revolutionist
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Posted by: samD
4 years 49 weeks ago
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