BISBEE — Upon hearing that a judge denied his request for a new trial, a convicted murderer yelled at the jurist, threatened the prosecutor and kicked his attorney in the leg before law enforcement officers descended on him during court proceedings Monday.
It took three uniformed officers and two plainclothes detectives a few seconds to get control of Roger Delane Wilson after the ruling was delivered Monday morning by Cochise County Superior Judge Tim Dickerson. After spewing expletives at Dickerson, defense attorney Chris Kimminau and threatening prosecutor Lori Zucco, Wilson was dragged from the courtroom.
Wilson was supposed to be sentenced after the hearing, but refused to sit in a chair at the Cochise County Jail and appear on video, officials at the jail told the court.
The outburst was not new behavior for Wilson. He’s been in jail for the past three years awaiting trial mostly because of questions regarding his mental health status.
He has had seven other attorneys and a few months ago asked Dickerson if he could have a ninth lawyer because he didn’t think Kimminau was getting the job done for him. Wilson also threatened to kill two of his seven attorneys, and punched one in the face.
He also leveled death threats against Zucco and Cochise County Superior Judge James Conlogue, who recused himself from the matter following the threats.
Wilson spent time in a mental health facility that Conlogue ordered him to attend, and at one point was declared incompetent to stand trial.
Monday the 52-year-old yelled at both Dickerson and Kimminau telling them they had “(expletive) up.”
Afterward he screamed at Zucco: “When I get done in the appellate court, I’m coming after you, you (expletive).”
The judge repeatedly ordered Wilson to quiet down, but his outburst continued.
After his client’s explosion, Kimminau asked the judge if he could appear at the sentencing hearing — now scheduled for Nov. 23 — by phone.
The judge agreed.
“Given that the defendant kicked you, I’ll grant that request,” Dickerson said.
Wilson was convicted of first-degree murder in early October after a two-week trial. Soon after, Kimminau filed a motion for a new trial, claiming the judge had not presented complete instructions to the 12-member jury.
The killing occurred on June 22, 2017 when Wilson shot 23-year-old J.D. Arvizu in the chest with a 20-gauge shotgun. Kimminau argued that Wilson thought Arvizu was armed that morning and was threatening Wilson’s mother’s property. Wilson had accused Arvizu of stealing from Wilson’s mother’s residence in the past.
Because Kimminau argued that Wilson believed Arvizu was armed, that information should have been relayed to the jury, the attorney said.
“There’s nothing in the instructions that says my client had to have evidence that he (Arvizu) had a weapon,” Kimminau said. “He only had to have a reasonable belief that he had a weapon and Mr. Wilson did.”
When he explained why he denied the motion for a new trial, Dickerson said one of the main reasons was that Arvizu was not on Wilson’s mother’s property, nor was he threatening it.
“There’s no evidence whatsoever that the home, the contents [of the home] were in danger,” Dickerson said.
Both of Arvizu’s parents were in the courtroom, but they arrived after Wilson’s outburst.
Arvizu’s mother Michelle Arvizu declined comment to the Herald/Review, indicating that she preferred to wait until the sentencing.