'You got away with murder,' judge tells Roberto Roman, acquitted of killing Millard Co. sheriff's deputy

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  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    Judge Eyre's "got away with murder" comment was highly improper, and paradoxically, it will provide Roman with a solid issue for appeal. If the judge really thought Roman was guilty of Josie's murder, he should have just imposed a severe penalty and kept his mouth shut. As an attorney, I'm shocked that an experienced judge didn't know better.

    Oct. 25, 2012 10:13 p.m.

    I speak nothing of the facts of this case. I am not familiar enough to do so and unless you sat through the entire trial I doubt that you are either.

    I speak to oaths, duty and how 12 people form that community did the best they could to decide truth. Yet somehow because I am from California I am brand a liberal fool. Well 12 good folk from Utah made the call on this one - does that mean the only 12 ACLU members magically appeared onto this jury?

    These jurors did what they felt was right - all 12 of them - after looking at all the evidence and careful deliberation. Yet somehow a few of you think that because you know a little something about this case that they are fools and I am a nut.

    I get it - we see something bad and want to have justice - and maybe your right that this guy got away with it - but then again maybe you are wrong and if so what a real tragedy. Trust your fellow man for a change, respect jurors for the job they do - after all they are each of us.

  • spiderweb Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    The Judge was correct in this matter. After all the evidence, and a sudden change of venue by a sleazy attorney looking to make a name for himself......Yes, it was all legal loopholes, but what now? How many muderers are going to play this card brought on by an old defense attorney looking to make a name for himself? or a BYU law student on the jury looking to make a name for himself? Only and only ever could this travesty of "blame it on the dead guy" work, except for in Utah county..........Utah county better get ready for numerous changes of venue in the hopes that the murderous lowlife will get away with their crime. Selfish? Yes. Justice? No. Where on earth has the short bus IQ Roman's testimony been for the past two years? IMHO, this attorney needs to go down with Roman!

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    Looking at this I see a jury of peers looking at evidence and the law and making a decision. Then I see a judge who doesn't agree with the decision and offers his opinion. Then finally I see a lot of people commenting one way or the other about who they think is right. Well all I can say is I'm glad we live in a country that is ruled by law and not by opinions. I'm happy we are entitled to our opinions and that we can speak them but when I think about being governed, I'd rather be governed by the law and not opinions.

  • Daniel84020 Draper, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    I'm concerned a bit by how people seem to care so little for their own rights. This isn't about being legalistic, splitting hairs, or parsing words. This is about realizing the state is an 800-pound gorilla. We let the government have tanks, guns, armies, and jails for millions and what we ask in return is that they don't lock us away unless they can prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that we committed a crime to a jury of non-government agents.
    Some guilty people will walk free. I would rather have than someone jailed because some people are pretty sure.
    Someone earlier asked how we might feel if it was our mother, wife, or daughter. It's a valid question. I'll answer personally: Many great people have sacrificed so we can enjoy this level of liberty, and apparently these tragic sacrifices continue. Brave officers give their lives to uphold our laws and constitutions. How sad if we allowed the death of anyone to circumvent the protections our founders gave when this government was conceived.

    Oct. 25, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    An addendum: Please note that in the 2nd paragraph of my 11:12 A.M. Oct. 25, 2012 post, I meant to say "This judge has taken a tremendous amount of heat, and rightfully so, for DISallowing what seems like obvious evidence against Roman."

    Thank you

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    Confused. He gets zero to five for how many offenses? It lists two possibles but there may be multiple accounts of each. How long is he going to be in there?

    And the judge was perfectly right. Political correctness should not trump honesty. Judge is part of the court and this gave his reasoning for the maximum.

    I could care less how BYUJOe parses words.

    Oct. 25, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    Jury trials can be appealed. I find it hard to believe that her brothers written account of the trial could not of been introduced. He was the one who ended up on trial, and his version deserved to be heard. Even the dead have Constitutional rights, once he became the accused he should have his constitutionally guaranteed confrontation, through his own statement.

    It's amazing how many witnesses die before testifying in many countries.

    I will blame the judge, and jury. It's my opinion. If Ryan was murdered, then the police bungled the investigation. The whole thing smells fishy.

    There is another article in the paper from a few days ago about hearsay, read the comments.

    Oct. 25, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    @BYU Joe

    Your response is right out of Law 101. The only problem is, you have not taken in account whatsoever the obvious gross injustice---the human element---that has taken place in this case. If you'd followed it closely, you would know that, when arrested, Roman confessed to killing Fox. However, Fox's brother, who unfortunately had dealings with Roman, was later found dead. Roman, knowing that Fox's brother was not around to defend himself, then blamed the killing on the brother. And even though the brother had given a statement to the police that Roman did kill his (the brother's) sister and his (Roman's) fingerprints were on the murder weapon, this statement by the brother implicating Roman was inexplicably disallowed due to a technicality.

    This judge has taken a tremendous amount of heat, and rightfully so, for now allowing what seems like obvious evidence against Roman. Because of the position of the judge, Roman is now looking at a much lesser charge. The judge, then, is now trying to counter some of the intense anger directed toward him.

    But please, spare us the legal rhetoric. A gross travesty of justice has taken place.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    and oj did not kill two people either......intersting you are from california

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    The loser can live out the rest of his years. The time will come when God judges him.

  • Wasatch Al South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    I will also equate this group of jurors with the OJ jury and the NFL replacement officials. I think they had watched the movie "12 Angry Men" a few too many times.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Re: "The judge may have an opinion but must keep it to himself."

    Not true.

    The judge is as entitled to his opinion as anyone else. And to express it.

    He sat through the evidence, as well. He's in as good a position, or better, than obviously inexperienced, and somewhat credulous jurors, to make a determination of the facts he intends to take into account on sentencing this criminal. The judge's discretion on sentencing is much broader than a jury's, on findings.

    The presumption of innocence is a non-constitutional legal construct, a judicial fiction. It applies in only to a tiny fraction of human existence -- a jury's deliberative process.

    Other than during that fraction of our existence, we're expected to use judgment and common sense, as did the judge in this case.

    Suggesting he should be punished for exercising sound judgment and common sense only shines a light on the bizzarro-world in which liberal, ACLU kool-aid drinking, pro-crime activists live.

  • md Cache, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    @BYU Joe Re: "The day we do otherwise brings us not one step close to bondage but directly into a ghastly world where freedom and justice no longer exist."

    I think we are already in that ghastly world. There is no justice for the victims or their family. The more excuses our legal system gives to allow murderers to walk away from their crimes, the more "ghastly" this world is.

    We have too many lawyers in this country who have no incentive to conclude any trial or dispute quickly and efficiently, because they are paid by the hour to make as many excuses as they can. Sad.

    I agree with you theHOYT.

  • md Cache, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    The judge knows full well that the defendant got out of the conviction on a technicality. If the victim's brother hadn't died and could testify about the defendant killing the victim, the outcome would be different. The judge was justified in his comments towards the killer.

  • Jo Momma CEDAR CITY, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Sounds like the prosecutor should have done his job.

  • TheHOYT Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    I don't understand how hard evidence, like meth in his system, his initial confession, and his finger-prints on the murder-weapon, is out-weighted by the criminals word on the events of that terrible night?

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    BYU Joe et al, I appreciate your knowledge of the law and these jurors who aquitted but common sense and the facts still point to this man as a murderer who killed and stole the life of another human being that can never be given back not to mention his long history with the law. The longer he spends in prison, the better for all of us. BYU Joe, it might be your mother, wife, daughter he kills next. Now go ahead and reply with all your knowledge of law and the system.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    "Hey Joe, juries do stupid things (OJ). Just because a jury aquitted him doesn't mean he isn't guilty."


    But it does mean he cannot legally be held criminally responsible for what happened. The judge should not have been able to take that into consideration.

    Was the shooting and death an terrible tragedy? Absolutely. But this man was deprived of his right by trial by jury if the judge levies a punishment for a crime he was acquitted of.

    Oct. 25, 2012 7:48 a.m.


    As a very strong rule - and perhaps you did not know this - Appellate Judges (Which include the Supreme Court) do NOT over turn facts as decided by a jury they only over turn the rulings of law as decided by the Judge.

    In a few rare cases in which the facts are so extremely obvious - and then only when the jury finds guilt when the should have found innocence - the court will step in and order a new trial.

    As for the OJ case. There always will be a freak of nature in any system. Calling out the OJ case is like saying the Elephant Man is what all people look like.

    There are only 12 people on this planet who swore an oath to decide what they believe was true . (This judge never swore an oath to decide the facts in this case). That oath means something and whether you, or me , or the judge like it or not that oath and their decision are what count.

    The day we do otherwise brings us not one step close to bondage but directly into a ghastly world where freedom and justice no longer exist.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    Hey Joe, juries do stupid things (OJ). Just because a jury aquitted him doesn't mean he isn't guilty. Judges give their opinions all the time. I guess you have never paid attention to a Supreme Court decision. They are all opinions and the classic example of being a Monday morning quarterback.

    This guy's story was so out there in left field, it amazes me that the jury bought it. "He reached across me and pulled the trigger." What a load of stuff.

    I think that the Feds ought to try him for violating Josie's civil rights and give him life. After all, she lost her life, due to that she lost her liberty, and couldn't persue her happiness in this life. Sounds like a civil rights violation to me.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 5:52 a.m.

    BYU Joe I second your comments. Well written.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    Oct. 25, 2012 5:34 a.m.

    The Judges comments leaves this case wide open to appeal.

    Oct. 24, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    When a jury listens to the evidence and decides a man is Not Guilty of a crime that is the end of it. It is offensive the Judge thinks he is above the jury in saying he got away with Murder. The jury reviews the evidence as twelve independent judges of the facts.

    The judge may have an opinion but must keep it to himself. Telling these jurors they are wrong sends a bad message to future jurors.

    Jury's are the cornerstone of the law. They make sure that the Executive Branch (DA) Legislative Branch (The Laws) and the Judicial Branch (The Judge) cannot conspire against a single individual. Jury's make sure the government remains fair.

    By stating his opinion this judge has violated a deep ethic which allows jury's to make decisions without bias from the government. By opening his mouth to criticize them he has cast a shadow on the integrity of the process.

    He should be sanctioned and issue an apology to those members of our community that took their time, without pay, to listen and make the tough call that a case like this requires.