Sun, April 05

Romero to stand trial on weapons charge
Arrested last summer in connection with burglaries of Habitat, Historical Society, music store

Benjamin Romero

Benjamin Romero

CAMP VERDE — A man who was arrested last summer in connection with some well-publicized burglaries in the west end of the Verde Valley is set to stand trial on some more of his pending charges this week.

Benjamin Romero, 41, is due to start a three-day trial Wednesday on charges of possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited possessor and manufacturing, controlling, selling or transporting a prohibited deadly weapon.

Romero has been in jail since July was acquitted Friday in a three-day jury trial on some of his pending charges. He beat one of the sets of charges — he was acquitted by a jury Dec. 13 charges of third-degree burglary/unlawful entry, theft-control property and possession of burglary tools.

Another burglary charge was dismissed without prejudice late last month after the jury acquittal in the third-degree burglary case.

Romero still faces yet another burglary charge, in which police allege he broke into a fenced yard in Jerome, belonging to the Jerome Historical Society. An evidentiary hearing in that case is set for Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Yet another pending case is on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a license suspended or revoked.

Not all of the court documents delineate which cases apply to which properties or sets of allegedly stolen items.

Romero was arrested July 26 for being found in possession of stolen property, police allege.

His charges stem largely from multiple burglaries that occurred in the Cottonwood area earlier this year.

In June, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity reported to police a burglary in which power tools, a generator and other hand tools were stolen.

On July 26, Romero was arrested in connection with dozens of items taken from a Cottonwood music store. A few days later, Cottonwood Police announced they were bringing additional charges against Romero, who was still in custody, for a June burglary of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity after a generator taken from there were allegedly found in his possession.

Romero has a long felony arrest record that dates as far back to 1996 — the year he turned 18.

Judge Chris Kottke is presiding over Romero’s cases. Yavapai County Deputy County Attorney Patti Wortman has been prosecuting Romero’s cases, while Jillian Bachman-Underhill has been defending Romero.

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