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Roberto Roman sentenced to life in prison for killing Millard County deputy

Roberto Roman sentenced to life in prison for killing Millard County deputy. (File Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A Utah man convicted of killing a Millard County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years on Thursday morning in federal court.

Roberto Roman, 44, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the Jan. 5, 2010 murder of Millard County Sheriff’s Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox.

The parents of Greathouse Fox told the court prior to sentencing that Roman's actions have left a wake of destruction behind him for all families involved.

"Roberto Roman is an evil human being," said Cindy Greathouse.

Roman was accused of shooting and killing Fox as she and other deputies followed him and her brother during a drug investigation in January 2010. Officials say Roman initially admitted to killing her before recanting his confession and blaming Fox’s brother, Ryan Greathouse, for the murder after he was found dead in Las Vegas in 2010 from an alleged drug overdose.

The prosecution, who calls themselves "Team Josie" and the victim's family was pleased with the sentencing and hope the life sentence for killing a police officer will send a message.

"We hope that it sends that message that there will be a life sentence if you kill a police officer," the prosecution said.

"We're finished," Millard County Sheriff Dekker said outside the courthouse. "He's where he is going to be for the rest of his life."

Dekker said the sentencing should come as comfort to all of those in the state of Utah.

"This was an evil man, going about doing evil business," Dekker said adding that Roman tried to place the blame on Greathouse Fox's brother. It took a strong legal team to prove otherwise, he said.

Diana Hagen, Appellate Chief for the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Utah said the life sentence for killing Greathouse Fox couldn't have come during a more fitting time on National Police Week.

"We rely on our local law enforcement officers to protect our families and communities. Hagen said outside the United States federal courthouse after sentencing. "There is no greater threat to that safety and security than when criminals are willing to kill a law enforcement officer to escape justice."

Roman was acquitted of killing of Greathouse Fox in 2012 when a jury in Utah State Court found Roman not guilty of aggravated murder. So prosecutors took the case federal court.

Federal charges were then filed in 2015 for drugs, weapons and intentionally killing a law enforcement officer. Defense lawyers filed an appeal claiming the new charges were double jeopardy, but a judge denied the appeal.

On Feb. 7, a federal jury found Roman guilty of the following 11 counts:

  1. Distribution of a controlled substance
  2. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  3. Distribution of controlled substance
  4. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  5. Distribution of controlled substance
  6. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  7. Killing a law enforcement officer to avoid apprehension
  8. Intentionally killing a law enforcement officer
  9. Felon in possession of a firearm
  10. Illegal alien in possession of a firearm
  11. Illegally reentering the United States

The defense for Roman declined to comment after the sentencing, but did mention they planned to file an appeal to the sentencing.

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