Officials release timeline of investigation into man who killed police officer

Local News
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SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Police said a man who killed a South Salt Lake police officer was also involved in a fatal crash earlier this year.

Felix Calata ran down Officer David Romrell with his car before he was shot and killed by an officer. Calata and another man were attempting to flee following a burglary.

On March 25, the Department of Public Safety said Calata and a girlfriend were high on meth when Calata ran a red light and plowed into another car. The girlfriend was ejected during the crash and died.

Now DPS says he was set to be formally charged with a felony DUI before he was shot over the weekend.

Many are asking why it was taking so long to charge him? 

Calata was severely injured in the March crash and investigators said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him until the toxicology results came back. They added automobile death investigations can take months.

DPS released a detailed timeline of its investigation, actions associated with it and its communications with prosecutors.

In summary, DPS said:

DPS investigators originally scheduled to screen the case with prosecutors on June 20. Constant communication between investigators and prosecutors was ongoing up until the rescheduled meeting on October 24.  On October 24, prosecutors requested DPS investigators to provide more information regarding the traffic light sequencing at the intersection of Bangerter Highway and California Avenue in Salt Lake City. The requested information was gathered and sent back to prosecutors on November 14. The case was scheduled to be rescreened on December 6, 2018.

DateActionDescription
03/25/18Crash occurs at California Ave. and Bangerter Hwy. 

03/25/18

DPS Investigation begins (UHP, SBI, MAIT) IMC staff says Calata would be hospitalized for at least four days

03/26/18

SBI interview with Calata at IMC 
03/27/18SBI interview with driver #2 at IMC 
03/27/18DPS obtains a warrant for electronic devices/JeepSBI processed Jeep for evidence. Warrant provided to MAIT to conduct scan for crash reconstruction
03/28/18UHP MAIT processes Jeep for reconstruction 

03/30/18

UHP MAIT processes Chevy for reconstruction 
04/09/18SBI submits subpoena for medical records 
04/17/18SBI receives medical recordsFrom IMC for both Calata and driver #2
04/28/18SBI receives medical records 
04/29/18UHP notifies SBI of fatal report completionThis report did not include scale diagram, field sketch, safety inspection or reconstruction
05/09/18UHP scale diagram completed 
05/29/18 DPS enters case into PIMS 
06/07/18 DPS scheduled screening with SLCo DA for June 20 
06/20/18SLCo DA contacts DPS to cancel screeningCanceled due to DA’s desire to wait for completed reconstruction
06/26/18 SBI receives Medical Examiner’s report 
08/16/18Calata is arrested by UHP on warrants (separate incident)

During a traffic stop Calata was arrested on warrants unrelated to the March 25 crash. Calata was held in SLCo Jail until mid-October

08/18/18UHP MAIT reconstruction completed 
08/22/18SBI received copy of reconstruction report from MAIT 
Aug.-Sept. DPS follow up analysis of crash investigation/reconstruction

Meetings between SBI and MAIT/UHP accident personnel analyzing data

08/28/18DPS in communication with SLCo DA for screening date

Scheduled for September 12, but had to be canceled due to scheduling conflicts

09/27/18SBI follow up interview with driver # 2 
10/03/18SBI follow up interview with Calata (at SLCo Jail) 
10/11/18SBI requests/receives jail calls for Calata 
10/16/18DPS reschedules screening date for October 24 
10/24/18DPS meets with SLCo DA to screen caseDA’s Office assigns a prosecutor for follow up. DPS receives a request for information on traffic light sequencing.
10/24/18SBI contacts UDOT for help 
11/06/18SBI receives contact from UDOT and schedules meeting for Nov. 14 
11/14/18SBI meets with UDOT traffic engineer about light sequencingUDOT is able to provide traffic signal data (raw data) 
11/4/18DPS notifies SLCo DA about additional data and requests new screening 
11/16/18 SLCo DA contacts DPS and sets screening for December 6 
11/23/18SBI receives UDOT report explaining traffic light data 
   

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