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The man accused of murdering a Millard County sheriff's deputy in 2010 again testified that it was the deputy's brother who pulled the trigger.
Roberto Roman took the witness stand in his own defense Friday in federal court.
As he did at his 2012 trial in Utah state court, Roman denied killing 37-year-old Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox.
He said it was her brother, Ryan Greathouse, who picked up an AK-47 sitting on the floor of Roman's Cadillac. From the front passenger seat, Roman testified, Greathouse put a round in the chamber, reached across Roman in the driver's seat, pointed the muzzle out the driver's window toward the rear of the Cadillac, and fired two shots at a dark silhouette.
"In between the two shots, you could hear a woman screaming," Roman testified through a Spanish translator.
Greathouse then began screaming and crying, testified Roman, who said he put the car in gear and drove away.
Roman, 44, is charged in U.S. District Court with intentionally killing a law enforcement officer. He was acquitted of a murder charge in the state trial in 2012, when he and his lawyers surprised prosecutors and jurors with the story of the brother killing his sister.
There was no surprise Friday. Roman's attorney, Stephen McCaughey, told jurors in his opening arguments what they would hear from Roman.
Roman testified Friday that Greathouse had given him the rifle as collateral on a $400 drug debt. He said he met Greathouse about 1 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2010, on a road between Delta and Greathouse's home in Leamington to sell Greathouse another 3 1/2 grams of meth and, Roman thought, to trade the AK-47 and its ammunition for the money owed.
Greathouse and a second man Roman did not know got in Roman's 1995 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, Roman testified. Roman handed Greathouse the meth, and Greathouse handed him cash. It was supposed to be $250 for the 3 1/2 grams and the $400 previously owed. But there was only $150 there, Roman testified.
Greathouse said he needed to go to Hinckley and Sutherland to collect the rest, Roman said. He said all three men smoked some of the meth and Roman offered to drive Greathouse to collect. Greathouse told the third man, whose name Roman said he has never learned, to drive Greathouse's truck back to Leamington. Roman said he and Greathouse then drove toward Delta, which was on the way to Hinckley.
Before they reached Delta, they passed a police truck parked on the side of the road. The truck turned around to follow the Cadillac, Roman testified, and the deputy soon turned on the flashers to pull over Roman.
Roman said Greathouse had earlier said that then-Millard County sheriff's Sgt. Rhett Kimball was in the area. Roman testified that the AK-47 was resting between him and Greathouse, and Roman was rolling down his window as he heard a round being chambered.
From the time the mechanism was racked to the time the two shots were discharged was only two or three seconds, Roman testified.
Roman testified he drove 100 or 120 mph to Greathouse's home in Leamington, and on the way volunteered to flee to Mexico so police would think he killed Fox. That's when, Roman said, Greathouse made a threat.
" 'Remember that you have two children in high school,' " Roman quoted Greathouse as saying. " 'The same thing will happen to them.' "
As Greathouse was exiting the Cadillac, he turned and said, " 'Remember, do it for your children,' " Roman added.
Roman was captured the next day hiding in a shed in Beaver. He testified Friday that the police officers who arrested him led him out of the shed, and then someone called him a "cop killer" and struck him in the side of the head and then others began hitting him.
When Roman gave an interview to police a few hours later, he told the detectives he was the one who shot Fox. He also told them Greathouse wasn't present when his sister died; that it was Greathouse who drove his own truck back to Leamington. There was no discussion of a third person. "I had been hit," Roman explained Friday. "I was high. I hadn't been able to sleep. I was tired and, more than anything else, I was afraid because of the threat against my children."
Greathouse, 40, denied involvement in the murder. He was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room on April 22, 2010, in what police and a coroner said was a drug overdose.
During cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice Viti attempted to show that fear of being caught with drugs and guns gave Roman an incentive to kill Fox. But Roman maintained he wasn't scared.
"You weren't worried that you just sold Ryan Greathouse 3 1/2 grams of methamphetamine with a gun in your possession?" Viti asked.
"Ryan had the drugs, and it was Ryan's gun," Roman replied.
Viti showed jurors social media photos of Roman holding the AK-47 with its large banana-shaped clip. Then he had a federal agent retrieve the rifle from a case behind the prosecution table and showed the weapon to the jury. Roman acknowledged target practicing with the AK-47 and said he knew how to load and fire it.
During Roman's testimony, the family of Fox and Greathouse sat stoically in the courtroom gallery behind prosecutors. Roman's family sat in the gallery behind the defense.