Charges To Be Screened Monday In Officer Romrell Death Investigation

Nov 30, 2018, 7:03 PM | Updated: 9:34 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – A team of investigators planned to meet with prosecutors to consider charges against the passenger in a car that hit and killed 31-year-old South Salt Lake Police Officer David Romrell.

The meeting was scheduled for Monday.

“Hopefully, that Monday afternoon we will have formal charges filed by the district attorney’s office,” said Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake.

Jeffrey Black, age 43, was originally questioned and then released after the fatal incident on Saturday. Then, on Monday, officers arrested him on suspicion of several alleged crimes, included aggravated murder, burglary, obstruction of justice and failure to stop at command of a law enforcement officer.

“Through investigative efforts, it was learned Jeffrey Black had given false information to the detectives regarding his involvement,” read Black’s affidavit of probable cause that was used to book him into jail.

The man driving the car, 31-year-old Felix Calata, was shot and killed by officers as he and Black attempted to leave the scene of a burglary and the car accelerated towards officers, according to court documents.

Prosecutors planned to screen possible charges against Black during a 2 p.m. meeting Monday with detectives from Unified Police, Gray said.

“We do have a 72-hour clock from the time that he is booked until those charges have to be screened,” Gray added. “In some circumstances, such as this one, we can ask for an extension.”

During a press conference on Friday, South Salt Lake Police also confirmed funeral arrangements and spoke of the ongoing grieving process.

“We’re working on getting through this and it’s quite a tough time for all of the officers,” said South Salt Lake police spokesperson Gary Keller.

“You can’t put into words the grieving that’s going on and yet we’re pushing through,” Keller went on to say.

A public viewing for Romrell will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. at the same location.

During the funeral, volunteers from other agencies were expected to take over policing shifts in South Salt Lake so that Romrell’s fellow officers can attend the services and pay their respects, Keller said.

The public was also invited to a candlelight vigil on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbus Community Center at 3495 South West Temple in South Salt Lake.

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Charges To Be Screened Monday In Officer Romrell Death Investigation