Wednesday , January 07, 2015 - 9:28 PM
OGDEN — A case that has been in court for about five years is coming to a close after the man accused of murdering a mother and son pleaded guilty Wednesday.
Jeremy Valdes appeared in the 2nd District Court of Ogden for a continuation of a hearing that began Tuesday with prosecutors dropping their pursuit of the death penalty in the case.
A plea bargain was made that reduced Valdes’ aggravated murder charges, Deputy County Attorney Brandon Miles told the Standard-Examiner.
Instead of facing life in prison without parole, Valdes will likely be sentenced to 15 years to life for each count. It will be up to Judge Mark DeCaria if the two sentences will run concurrently or consecutively, the latter making the minimum sentence 30 years in prison, Miles said.
Valdes was arrested in 2009 for the deaths of Matthew Roddy and his mother, Pamela Jeffries. Police say Valdes stabbed Roddy to death and beat Jeffries unconscious, then suffocated her with a plastic bag. Their bodies were found stuffed inside a closet in their mobile home in Roy.
Valdes and Roddy had reportedly gotten in a fight over prescription pills that were supposedly hidden somewhere in the home. In the hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors added an aggravating factor, alleging that Valdes wanted to silence Roddy from talking to police or his probation officer.
Valdes’ then-girlfriend Miranda Slater was also arrested and convicted of obstruction of justice for her assistance in hiding the bodies. She was sentenced to prison in 2010 and released last year.
Valdes’ case was repeatedly prolonged over the years by his firing of his attorneys and trying to prove a diminished mental capacity.
Miles said the resolution was the best they could achieve in the interest of justice for the family of Roddy and Jeffries. The lack of a death penalty trial also allows prosecutors to avoid the pitfalls that come with it including legal scrutiny and multiple appeals.
“This puts it to bed, and we can close the book on this case forever,” Miles said.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March. If Judge DeCaria gives Valdes, 36, consecutive sentences, he will be in prison until his 60s at the least.
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.
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