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Qiling Wang, KSL

Murray man charged with murder in South Salt Lake officer's death

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - Dec 6th, 2018 @ 11:32am


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Murray man was charged Thursday with murder in the death of a South Salt Lake police officer who was investigating a burglary last month.

Police say Jeffrey Don Black, 43, was a passenger in a car that hit and killed officer David Romrell on Nov. 24 in South Salt Lake.

Romrell, 31, a former U.S. Marine who had been with the department for 11 months, was killed while investigating the report of a burglary in progress, the charges state.

Felix Anthony Calata, 32, of West Valley City, was driving and intentionally hit Romrell with the car as he attempted to get away, according to investigators. Police fired at Calata, killing him.

Just after his arrest on Nov. 26, Black told reporters he feels sorry for the slain officer and thought that the car he was in had hit a mailbox, not a person.

Black was charged Thursday with murder, a first-degree felony; robbery and obstructing justice, second-degree felonies; and attempted burglary, a third-degree felony. He was also charged with failing to stop at the command of an officer, a class A misdemeanor.

Romrell is survived by his wife and a 4-month-old son. He was laid to rest Wednesday following a funeral in West Valley City.

Court records show Black has faced several criminal charges in Utah dating back to 2001.

This story will be updated throughout the day.

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