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Tajh Ross Guilty Of Murder

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The man accused of killing 19-year-old Latasha Roundtree has been found guilty of first degree murder. Roundtree was killed in September of 2012, while she was on her way to a party in Cedar Rapids.

In the 30 page write up from Judge Robert Sosalla, Ross was found guilty on 3 out of 4 charges, Including first degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and going armed with intent.

When Ross took the stand on day 9 of the trial, he admitted that he pulled the trigger, but said the targeting was accidental. He said someone threatened to shoot up the party, and he thought Latasha's car carried that threat.
He claimed the gun accidentally went off.

"I didn't fire at it," Ross told the courtroom. "I fired in that direction, trying to lift the gun up."

The judge disagreed, saying witness testimony discredits his explanation, and the chances of an accidental firing were "so remote, as to make the explanation unreasonable."

Sosalla says all the requirements for the first degree murder charge were met - including premeditation and deliberation.

He says after Ross heard of the threats to the party, he had multiple opportunities to leave the house, call for help, or even put down the gun. Instead he "chose to stand and fight the evening of September 22nd".

Sentencing for Ross will be held on October 3. In Iowa, first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison, with no possibility of parole.
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