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Kidderminster man pleads guilty to murder in US
A FORMER Kidderminster poker player has pleaded guilty to murder in the United States.
A news release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney Office, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, said Marcus Bebb-Jones, who had faced a first-degree murder charge, agreed to plead guilty to a second-degree murder in the heat of passion.
It brings to a close a 16-year investigation into his wife Sabrina’s death. It also means a six-week jury trial that had been scheduled for April 1 has been cancelled.
The charge carries a sentencing range of 10 to 32 years in the Department of Corrections - the agency which operates state prisons - but the plea deal calls for Bebb-Jones to serve no more than 20 years.
The court has ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared before the May 1 sentencing.
Inside Colorado’s 9th Judicial District Court in Glenwood Springs on Friday (February 15), the victim’s family read a statement through Assistant District Attorney Scott Turner calling for Bebb-Jones to receive “the maximum penalty for his cruelty, lack of remorse and for taking Sabrina from them”.
Mrs Bebb-Jones disappeared in September, 1997 and her skull was found in Douglas Pass in Garfield County in 2004. The couple owned the Melrose Hotel at the time of her disappearance.
The plea agreement includes dismissal of a misdemeanour harassment charge related to an altercation between Bebb-Jones and another inmate in the Garfield County Jail.
Former 9th District Attorney Martin Beeson thought he had reached a plea deal with Bebb-Jones last June but Bebb-Jones instead pleaded not guilty.
Democrat Sherry Caloia defeated Republican Beeson by fewer than 200 votes in November and Beeson had expressed fears about how a change in attorneys in the office might affect the ability to prosecute the case in a trial.