Wilson threatens lawyer in jail call: Search begins for murder defendant’s 7th attorney


BISBEE — A Hereford man charged with murder had his seventh court-appointed attorney quit on Friday, after the lawyer said his client had threatened to kill him.

Tucson-based attorney Steven West filed a motion in Cochise County Superior Court earlier this month requesting he be allowed to withdraw as attorney for Roger Delane Wilson.

His motion was granted Friday morning at a brief hearing in front of Cochise County Superior Judge James Conlogue.

Wilson is accused of fatally shooting 23-year-old Jose Daniel Arvizu in the chest in June 2017. The incident occurred just outside Wilson’s mother’s residence near Sierra Vista.

Wilson is accused of first-degree murder with premeditation for shooting Arvizu in the chest with a shotgun. He has previously claimed he shouldn’t be facing charges as he fired in self-defense, which Conlogue said is a matter for a jury to decide, previous reports by the Herald/Review show.

In his two-page motion, West stated that the Pima County Attorney’s Office had filed charges against the 51-year-old Wilson for three counts of threatening/intimidation. West said he was the victim and the object of the threats.

“The attorney-client relationship between undersigned counsel and Mr. Wilson is irretrievably broken,” West stated in his motion. “Mr. Wilson has threatened undersigned counsel’s life and/or well being on multiple occasions.

“Most recently, Mr. Wilson left threatening messages toward undersigned counsel on a completely unrelated Pima County Attorney’s Office employee’s voicemail,” West stated. “Those voicemails were forwarded to a detective who then began investigating the matter. Charges resulted. Due to this, counsel must be withdrawn as attorney of record for Mr. Wilson, immediately.”

Wilson, who is being held in Pima County, was not at the hearing.

Sierra Vista attorney Peter A. Kelly, Wilson’s fourth attorney, also withdrew his representation after he said Wilson punched him in the face during a jail visit in April 2018.

His fifth attorney, Ruben Teran, was granted permission by Conlogue to drop the case last September, even though jury selection was slated to start just a few days later. Teran withdrew because Wilson indicated at the time he wanted to represent himself, records show.

Wilson’s sixth attorney, Jacob Amaru, also of Tucson, asked Conlogue in September 2018 to order Wilson to undergo a competency evaluation to stand trial. Amaru was replaced by West in December 2018.

Conlogue ordered Wilson into a restoration to competency (RTC) program offered by Pima County’s behavioral health department.

Cochise County assistant prosecutor Lori Zucco said Friday that Wilson had left the RTC program in the summer. He is in custody at the Pima County Adult Detention Center.

Cochise County Sheriff’s Detective Todd Borquez interviewed Wilson shortly after the shooting.

According to Borquez’s probable cause statement, the shooting occurred on S. Santa Elena Avenue near Wilson’s mother’s house.

Wilson told detectives there was animosity between himself and Arvizu for a year, according to the Borquez’s report. A few days before the shooting, the two men got into a fight.

After the hearing Friday, Wilson’s mother, Janice Wilson, told the Herald/Review that her son shot Arvizu in order to defend her. Janice Wilson said Arvizu was threatening her.

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