Jose Zamora03

Jose Zamora appears in court for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Ogden's 2nd District Court. Zamora is accused of beating 74-year-old Ogden resident David Paulson to death in July 2018.

OGDEN — An Ogden man accused of beating a man to death last summer pleaded guilty Friday in an Ogden courtroom.

Jose Robert Zamora, 23, signed off on a plea agreement during a Friday afternoon hearing in front of 2nd District Judge Camille Neider. Zamora pleaded guilty to one count of murder, a first-degree felony. In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped one count of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

Zamora admitted to “intentionally or knowingly caused the death of another,” according to the plea agreement.

Zamora was charged in connection with the death of his 74-year-old neighbor, David Martin Paulson, whose body was found bloodied and beaten around 7 a.m. on July 16, 2018, behind an Ogden restaurant near the intersection of 26th Street and Monroe Boulevard.

During a preliminary hearing in December, photos of the scene were displayed in court, including photos of Paulson’s body at the crime scene. Ogden Police Detective Jacob Wilson said a large amount of blood was found around the man’s body, and deep cuts could be seen on Paulson’s head.

Wilson later interviewed Zamora, who said he had issues with Paulson in the past. Wilson said that witnesses told police that the two fought in the past, including one incident where Zamora reportedly punched Paulson in the face, giving him a black eye. Zamora told Wilson he had seen Paulson “creeping” on his daughter and looking into her bedroom window.

In August, Neider struck down a number of motions filed by Zamora’s counsel, Michael Boyle. One in particular was a motion to toss Zamora’s interview with Wilson as evidence that could be used in the case. Boyle claimed that Wilson had not properly notify his client of his Miranda rights prior to the interview. However, Neider struck down the motion and ruled that the interview was properly conducted.

Before his plea on Friday, Zamora was set to begin a two-week jury trial on Sept. 17, but that has, of course, now been canceled. He was also slated to appear in court on Tuesday for an evidence hearing, which is also now canceled.

Zamora’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. He faces a possible sentence of 15 years to life in a Utah state prison.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!