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The widow of slain officer Cpl. Mike Roberts will follow the case "every step of the way."
Published Sep. 15, 2009

Humberto Delgado, the man accused of fatally shooting a Tampa police officerlast month, pleaded not guilty to his charges Monday morning.

Police say Delgado, 34, shot Cpl. Mike Roberts on an east Tampa street corner the night of Aug. 19. Roberts had tried to question Delgado, who was pushing a shopping cart that turned out to be filled with weapons, authorities say.

The two began to struggle, and police say Delgado shot Roberts.

The officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but the bullet struck an uncovered part of his arm and lodged in his chest.

At the arraignment, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Denise Pomponio heard Delgado's plea but made no rulings.

Instead, Pomponio entered a disclosure of disqualification from the case because her husband was a Tampa police sergeant for 25 years. Pomponio said she wants to make sure both the defense and prosecution teams are okay with her remaining on the case.

She said she is willing to stay on, but she requested written responses from both sides on the issue and set another hearing for Monday.

Delgado, a former police officer from the Virgin Islands, faces charges of premeditated murder, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, carrying a concealed firearm and depriving an officer of his means of protection. Police say Delgado shot Roberts when he lay defenseless on the ground.

Cynthia Roberts, Cpl. Roberts' widow, released a statement after the hearing. "I'm the only one to speak for my husband, he is unable to speak for himself," she said. "I want to know what's happening with the case every step of the way."