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Kidderminster poker player to face US murder charge
A KIDDERMINSTER poker player accused of killing his wife and going on a “playboy spending spree” before attempting suicide, is due in court in the US.
Marcus Bebb-Jones will be charged with the first degree murder of his American wife, Sabrina, at a hearing in Colorado on May 10.
He will enter a plea and a trial date will be set. At a preliminary hearing in March, the 49-year-old indicated he would deny the charges.
US prosecuters have alleged that on September 16, 1997 Marcus Bebb-Jones, killed his wife, with whom he ran a hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado, and then hid her body in the state’s national park. The next day, he went to Las Vegas, on a $5,700 spending spree, using credit cards either jointly owned or in his wife's name.
His "playboy" weekend culminated in Bebb-Jones putting a pistol in his mouth and shooting himself in the head, although he escaped life-threatening injuries.
Bebb-Jones claimed he went to Las Vegas to locate his missing wife, although police said he had not reported her disappearance.
He was arrested after cops found traces of Mrs Bebb-Jones’s blood in her husband’s van but the case went cold because a body was never found.
The case was reopened in 2004, when a human skull was found and identified as Mrs Bebb-Jones.
In 2009, the professional gambler was living in Kidderminster with his teenage son and mother when he was arrested. He fought extradition to Colorado, which still enforces the death penalty or lifelong imprisonment for first degree murder.
In 2010, the Home Office ordered him to be shipped out to the US to face trial, after it was agreed Colorado courts would not seek the death penalty. If found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars, without the possibility of parole.