Rifle shell casings, gun, knives seized in investigation of deputy's death

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

No firearms were found on Roberto Miramontes Roman when he was arrested in the fatal shooting Millard County sheriff's Deputy Josie Fox.

Police did find three rifle shell casings in the 1995 Cadillac Deville that Fox tried to pull over just before her death, according to search warrant returns obtained Friday by The Salt Lake Tribune . Officers also seized a Mosin-Nagant rifle from the Delta home of Roman's father.

Roman was armed with a butterfly knife and a machete when he was arrested.

Police say that Roman, behind the wheel of the Cadillac, sold drugs to Fox's brother, Ryan Greathouse, on a rural road in Millard County early the morning of Jan. 5. A sergeant saw their two cars meet and asked Fox, 37, to pull Roman over. Minutes later, she was found dead next to her patrol car.

Roman, 37, fled the area with 36-year-old Chavez-Reyes, the owner of the Cadillac, police say. After a 37-hour manhunt, they were arrested in a shed in Beaver. Roman faces capital murder charges, and Chavez-Reyes was charged with six felonies for allegedly helping Roman elude police.

The warrants were released Friday after a court battle that pitted a coalition of news agencies against the Utah Attorney General's Office. Search warrants are typically public, but the attorney general argued releasing the Roman warrants could endanger witnesses and the defendants' right to a fair trial.

Fourth District Judge Donald Eyre ruled earlier this month that the state must unseal seven search warrants, though he allowed the Utah Attorney General's Office to keep two warrants and the Chavez-Reyes arrest documents private.

The rifle was the only firearm seized by police serving the seven public search warrants. In the Cadillac, police also seized a holster, ammunition receipt, cigarette butts and fingerprints, along with the 7.62 x 39 rifle shell casings. Police found the Cadillac abandoned outside Nephi.

Police found the keys to the Cadillac in the Beaver shed where the two were hiding, along with a knife, two jackets, a cell phone, black beanies, jackets and shoes.

At Chavez-Reyes' apartment, police found stolen Mexican passports, financial documents, and three 9 mm bullets.

A search of a 1989 Chevrolet Corvette that Roman and Chavez-Reyes allegedly used to flee to Salt Lake City yielded no weapons or ammunition.

Officers also took photographs of text messages between Greathouse, Fox's brother. Greathouse was found dead last month in Las Vegas.