- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah’s first female police officer fatally shot on duty was killed because a man refused to be arrested after selling methamphetamine, prosecutors said Monday as the man charged in her death went on trial in a federal case filed after he was acquitted of the slaying in state court.

Roberto Roman, 44, plans to testify again that he didn’t kill her but that Millard County Sheriff’s Deputy Josie Fox’s now-deceased brother did.

Roman will say he and the brother, Ryan Greathouse, were in a car after smoking methamphetamine together when Fox pulled them over in 2010, Roman’s lawyer said.

Prosecutors contend there was a drug deal, but Greathouse drove away before his sister arrived. They say Roman told the truth shortly after his arrest, when he confessed to killing her with an assault rifle pointed backward over his shoulder, said prosecutor Diana Hagen.

“She died quickly, alone, still gripping her flashlight in her hand,” Hagen said during opening arguments.

Prosecutors also played dramatic dash-camera video Monday of fellow Millard County deputies discovering her body and repeatedly screaming “Josie, talk to me! Josie, talk to me!”

The federal charges against Roman include intentionally killing a law enforcement officer. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

“At this end of this trial, your gut feeling is going to be you want to convict someone of this terrible, horrible killing,” defense attorney Stephen McCaughey told the jury.

He asked them to resist that urge and consider instead whether Roman has been proven guilty.

The defense contends Roman confessed because Greathouse threatened his children. Greathouse died of a drug overdose in Las Vegas months after his sister was killed. He was never charged in her death.

Roman asserted his innocence when he went to trial in state court in 2012. A jury found enough reasonable doubt to acquit Roman on an aggravated murder charge in the slaying. He was convicted on charges of tampering with evidence and gun violations and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Defense attorneys have argued that the federal case amounts to a double-jeopardy attempt to try him twice on the same allegation. But an appeals court rejected that argument because the state and federal court systems are separate.

He has pleaded guilty to three less-serious federal charges of entering the country illegally and possessing guns, including an assault rifle.

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