- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah man acquitted in state court of aggravated murder in the death of a sheriff’s deputy is now weighing a plea deal involving federal charges against him, his lawyer said Wednesday.

But a deal appears unlikely regarding the pending counts against Roberto Roman that include intentionally killing a law enforcement officer, defense attorney Stephen McCaughey said.

“He’s always maintained that he didn’t kill that police officer,” McCaughey said. Roman is due back in court Thursday.

The Roman family said the federal case amounts to a double-jeopardy attempt to try him twice on the same allegation.

“How are going to say that you killed someone when you haven’t killed them? That’s impossible,” Mike Roman, his brother, said outside federal court.

Roberto Roman had been expected to enter a plea to immigration charges, but the hearing was delayed so he could consider the plea deal, McCaughey said.

Trying someone twice for the same offense is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment. But a federal appeals court rejected that argument in Roberto Roman’s case because the second round of charges was filed in federal court.

Roberto Roman says he was in a car with Ryan Greathouse - the brother of Deputy Josie Fox - when she was killed during a 2010 traffic stop in Millard County, though prosecutors dispute that.

Roberto Roman says the two men had smoked methamphetamine together and Greathouse fired the fatal shots from an AK-47.

Greathouse died of a drug overdose in Las Vegas months after his sister was killed. Before he died, Greathouse told deputies he had bought drugs from Roberto Roman and another man shortly before his sister was killed, authorities said.

Prosecutors say Roberto Roman initially confessed to killing Fox. He later asserted his innocence during the 2012 trial, saying Greathouse had threatened him.

A state jury found enough reasonable doubt to acquit Roberto Roman in the slaying. He was convicted on charges of tampering with evidence and gun violations and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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