Utah Crime and Courts
Thu August 30, 2012
Roberto Roman Acquitted of Murder Charges
Earlier in August Roberto Roman was acquitted of the murder of Sheriff's Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox. Fox was shot to death during a traffic stop in 2010. Roman claims that Fox’s brother, Ryan Greathouse, was in fact the shooter. Greathouse died four months after the murder of a drug overdose. The acquittal has sparked controversy over the jurors’ deliberations, particularly after comments made by jurors to the media. Thursday on Access Utah, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Aaron Falk said several jurors were impressed by Roman’s testimony.
"With the jurors I was able to talk to, they said he was very, very convincing, and that played a large part in their decision to acquit."
Still, jury forewoman Nicole Kay says she felt she was under a lot of pressure to come to a verdict and regrets not extending deliberations.
"People were tired. People didn't want to come back. They'd been there for a week. They would've had to come back on a Saturday. There were talks of an older woman on the jury who they were concerned with just making the drive to and from the courthouse to where she lived farther away in Utah County."
University of Texas professor Mary Rose said sometimes acquittals are easier to come by than guilty verdicts.
"Jurors try to do a good job but have to have a story of the evidence that doesn't have a whole lot of holes in it. And they're trying to construct a story that has the best coverage of what they've heard. And if they can't do that, the instructions tell them to be conservative and acquit."
Roman was found guilty of evidence tampering and illegal firearm possession. He will be sentenced on October 10.