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State court to rule on Tucson homicide appeal

Posted at 5:10 AM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 07:50:48-05
The Arizona Supreme Court will rule Wednesday on an appeal of a Tucson man convicted of a 2000 homicide after a cold-case investigation.
Joseph Javier Romero was linked in 2010 to the killing of Skeets A. Matthews after cold-case investigators examined a cellphone near Matthews' body. A firearms expert then linked a gun allegedly dropped by Romero about a month after the 2000 killing with shell casings found near Matthews' body.
The appeal before the Supreme Court focuses on whether the trial judge was correct when she barred a defense witness from testifying about scientific criticisms of firearms identifications.
Romero is now 34. He entered the state prison system in late 2012 to serve a 16-year sentence on the murder conviction plus a consecutive eight-year term on a drug conviction.