Ogden man pleads guilty to beating death of 74-year-old neighbor

Jose Robert Zamora. Photos: Weber County Jail; Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

OGDEN, Utah, Sept. 8, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — An Ogden man has pleaded guilty to the 2018 beating death of his 74-year-old neighbor.

Jose Robert Zamora, 23, on Friday accepted a deal, pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of David Martin Paulson, whose body was found on July 16, 2018, behind a restaurant near 26th Street and Monroe Boulevard, Ogden.

In exchange for the plea, one charge — obstructing justice, a second-degree felony — was dismissed.

Zamora now faces an Oct. 22 sentencing date, and 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison.

Officials released a statement shortly after Zamora’s 2018 arrest in the case.

“Zamora is a neighbor and has had an ongoing dispute with the victim,” the news release said.

A probable cause statement from police says that a witness close to the murder scene recognized Zamora’s face.

“A few moments after the suspect male went into the alleyway the witness heard what he described as a physical altercation, and a high-pitched scream. He stated that a short time later, the suspect male he knew exited and alley and was sweating profusely and breathing heavily. He asked the suspect male if he was OK and the male ran south on Monroe.”

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The witness took part in a photo lineup and identified Zamora as the suspect.

Another witness, who knew Zamora, said she saw the suspect outside her window at around midnight, the probable cause statement says.

The witness said she had asked Zamora what he was doing and he told her he was going to “kill that old man.”

She went outside and spoke with Zamora, and he told her that he planned to wait outside the victim’s apartment and kill him because the victim had been following his daughter.

Once in police custody, Zamora was transported to the Ogden City Police Department for an interview.

“Zamora explained that his problems with the victim in the past included the incident approximately two days prior,” the probable cause statement says.

“He (Zamora) admitted to punching the victim (Paulson), who had run off during that altercation. He stated that the victim had followed his daughter in the past and that one night he had seen the victim peeking into his daughter’s window.”

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