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Man charged with murder in West Valley shooting death

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Mar 23rd, 2013 @ 7:53am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Roberto T. Romero, 59, was charged with murder Friday, in connection to the shooting death of Jesus Lucena Velez earlier this month. 

Police responded to a call reporting "shots fired" at a home at 2363 S. Redwood Road about 11:40 p.m. on March 10. Officers saw Velez on the floor bleeding from his head and chest and he was pronounced dead. 

A woman told police she was at the residence with friends drinking late that night when she heard something loud outside the bedroom door and a man's voice say, "No, no, no," followed by many gunshots. A man's voice then said, "I told you not to mess with me," according to the witness, after which she heard more shots, loud footsteps and a slamming door.  

A man who lives in the house said that he heard three to four gunshots. He also said Romero and Velez were arguing and he heard Romero threaten Velez.

Two witnesses said Velez lived in the home, but police earlier indicated that he hadn't been seen there in about a year.

Romero was arrested the next day at the home of an acquaintance where he had gone to spend the night, about 10 minutes away from the location of the shooting. Romero grabbed a handgun from his waistband and dropped it in a trash can when he spotted police at the house, according to the charges filed in 3rd District Court. The acquaintance handed the trash can over to the officers, who said they found loose ammunition and a 9mm handgun inside.

Romero admitted to shooting Velez and said no one else was involved, according to the charging documents. Police say Romero was living illegally in the United States. 

Velez was shot at least six times — twice in his head and four times in his body, according to the medical examiner. 

Romero was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, use of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, and discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony. 


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