A Grant County murder trial ended before it ever got started Monday as the defendant in the case pleaded guilty to charges that he raped and killed an elderly Marion woman in 2003.
Just before jury selection in his trial was set to begin in Grant County Superior Court three, 62-year old Roman Urista Junior pleaded guilty to charges of Murder, Rape and Criminal Deviate Conduct. He was accused of raping and killing 81-year old Betty Payne in her Marion home 15-years ago. That case had gone cold until a D-N-A match was made on Urista in 2016.
Grant County Prosecutor Jim Luttrull Junior said Urista agreed to plead guilty and be sentenced to the maximum of 65-years in prison, but that the sentences for the three charges will run concurrently.
Urista will be formally sentenced in the case on May 11th.