Inmate charged with murdering accomplice in pizza deliveryman’s slaying

A Wabash Valley Correctional Facility inmate was charged with murder Tuesday in the slaying of another prisoner in May, state police said. Both men had been convicted in connection with the robbery and murder of an Indianapolis pizza deliveryman.

Derek Romano, 29, of Indianapolis was charged in connection with the death of Jeremiah Roberts, 32, of Nacogdoches, Texas, police said. Roberts was found unresponsive at about 6 a.m. May 3 in his cell at the southwestern Indiana prison, and he later died. Indiana State Police said at the time the death at the prison near Carlisle was being investigated as a possible homicide.

Roberts and Romano had been convicted in the notorious 2014 slaying of Indianapolis pizza delivery driver John Sullivan.

A Marion County jury in January 2017 convicted Roberts of murder and robbery for a fatal attack on pizza delivery driver John Sullivan. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Sullivan’s body was found the next morning in the basement of a building where Roberts had been living with Derek Romano.

“… Roberts and Romano murdered Sullivan and fled in his vehicle,” the prosecutor’s office said in a news release after Roberts’ sentencing. “The two suspects were located in Wyoming two days later and extradited back to Marion County to face charges.”

Roberts had been incarcerated within the Indiana Department of Correction since January 2017, according to police. He had been serving a 68-year sentence for conviction of murder and robbery. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the murder conviction in October 2017.

Romano separately pleaded guilty to murder in the case and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Romano’s arrest also came a day after state police said they were investigating as a homicide the death of another Wabash Valley inmate who was found unresponsive Sunday in his prison cell. Foul play also is suspected in the death of Kevin J. Carpenter, 57, of Churubusco, police said.

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