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Utah prisoner who testified against deputy's killer to be paroled

Published March 17, 2017 7:38 pm

Serving prison time on related charges, he will likely be deported upon release.
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Ruben Chavez-Reyes, a Utah inmate who testified for the prosecution at the trial of a man convicted of killing Millard County sheriff's Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox, is slated to be paroled next month.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has set an April 18 release date for Chavez-Reyes, who is serving time for obstructing justice and other charges in connection with Fox's fatal shooting during a 2010 traffic stop.

After he is paroled, Ruben Chavez-Reyes, 44, likely will be deported to his native Mexico; parole board records show U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement has requested to be notified before his release so the agency can take custody of him.

Chavez-Reyes testified in February at Roberto Miramontes Roman's federal trial on a charge of killing Fox, who was hit by two bullets on Jan. 5, 2010, as she approached a Cadillac she had pulled over near Delta because the occupant was suspected of being involved in a drug transaction.

Chavez-Reyes testified he had loaned the Cadillac to Roman and picked up his friend the night of the shooting after the vehicle got stuck in a snowbank near Nephi. He said Roman told him, "I just shot a cop."

As recently as January, Chavez-Reyes had told authorities he was unaware Roman was wanted in the fatal shooting until they had driven to Salt Lake City. Under cross-examination in February, Chavez-Reyes denied he changed his testimony to try to get an earlier release from prison.

He also testified federal prosecutors were writing a letter to the parole board on his behalf.

The federal trial was Roman's second. He was acquitted in 2012 by a 4th District Court jury of murder, but found guilty of tampering with evidence and possessing a firearm and sentenced to 10 years in the Utah State Prison.

In 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Roman on 11 charges, including intentionally killing a law enforcement officer and using a firearm during a crime of violence. A U.S. District judge ruled the charges do not amount to double jeopardy because the state and the federal government are separate sovereign entities.

This time, Roman was convicted and he is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

In a separate 4th District Court trial, a jury convicted Chavez-Reyes in 2010 of obstructing justice, burglary and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison for obstructing justice and up to five years each for the other counts.

Chavez-Reyes was denied parole in 2011 and had another hearing on Feb. 9, about a week after he testified at Roman's trial.


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC






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