Police officer suspected of killing lawyer over child custody battle

Client was upset about the turnout of a child custody case ruling against him Attorney was concerned about her safety following a campaign of harassment

A police officer examines the scene where the burned vehicle of a murdered lawyer was found in Granada.
A police officer examines the scene where the burned vehicle of a murdered lawyer was found in Granada.Miguel Ángel Molina (EFE)

Civil Guard authorities on Friday arrested a Granada police officer suspected of murdering a female lawyer and leaving her body in the trunk of her burning vehicle.

The suspect, whose name was not released, had been a client of lawyer Rosa Cobo Román, who was found dead Thursday night inside her vehicle that had been set on fire in Granada’s Camino de las Vacas district. The 51-year-old lawyer had been harassed by the officer, who reportedly has a past record of domestic violence, said Eduardo Torres, president of the Granada Bar Association during a news conference.

Torres said that the officer in 2010 filed an ethics complaint against Cobo Román — the only one ever filed against her in her entire career — after he had an argument over the way she handled a child custody case in which she represented him. The complaint was later dropped after a panel ruled in her favor.

According to Torres, the late lawyer was “very concerned” about the harassment by her former client, and suspected that he had burned her vehicle on an earlier occasion.

Another lawyer, Fernando Conde, a member of the bar association board and who lives in the same building as Cabo Román, said he heard someone screaming in the early morning. However, he wasn’t sure if it was related to the crime. Later, the police and family members arrived at the scene. The vehicle was found near her home.

According to Conde, the lawyer was so worried about her safety that she installed security cameras around her home.

The government’s delegate in Andalusia, Carmen Crespo, said that police were examining the images on the cameras.

Cabo Román was separated from her husband and had two children.

Torres said that the Bar Association will publicly denounce this type of harassment by clients. “We are willing to go to the limits to defend our profession with all the measures and resources we have,” he said.

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