SALT LAKE CITY — Federal prosecutors argue in a new court filing that the charges against a man acquitted in state court of killing a Millard County sheriff's deputy aren't double jeopardy.
The Utah U.S. Attorney's Office asked a federal judge to deny Roberto Miramontes Roman's motion to dismiss the murder and weapons indictment filed against him last fall. It contends that regardless of whether the state prosecuted him, he can still be charged with federal crimes related to the same incident.
"Even if any of the federal charges contain the same elements as the state charges, they are not the 'same offense' for purposes of double jeopardy," assistant U.S. attorney Diana Hagen wrote.
Like the state, the federal government is entitled to enforce its laws, Hagen contends.
Roman's attorney says the government wants a "do-over" for what it believes the jury got wrong the first time.
"Little did Mr. Roman or any of the jurors know that the 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," Jeremy Delicino wrote last month in a motion to throw out the case.
An eight-person jury found Roman not guilty of aggravated murder but convicted him for tampering with evidence and possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the Jan. 5, 2010, shooting that killed deputy Josie Greathouse Fox, 37.
Roman is serving a 10-year prison term.
When sentencing Roman on those charges in October 2012, 5th District Judge Donald Eyre told him: "At least in my opinion, you got away with murder."
A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against Roman last September, including a charge of intentionally killing a local law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of official duties.
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