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Dispute over evidence in Kidderminster man's US murder trial
AN EXPERT witness for prosecutors in the case of a Kidderminster poker player accused of killing his wife believe she suffered bullet wounds to her head.
Public defenders for Marcus Bebb-Jones, however, say the same witness failed to draw that conclusion when she first examined the skull of Sabrina Bebb-Jones in 2005.
Bebb-Jones, 49, is due to go on trial in Colorado on a first-degree murder charge – scheduled to be held over five weeks – on Monday, November 5.
US prosecutors have alleged that on September 16, 1997, Bebb-Jones killed his wife and hid her body in the state’s national park then went on a $5,700 spending spree the next day using credit cards either jointly owned or in his wife’s name.
The couple owned the Melrose Hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado, when Mrs Bebb-Jones disappeared in 1997. Her skull was found in 2004 on Douglas Pass, Garfield County, Colorado.
Bebb-Jones, a professional gambler, was arrested in Kidderminster in 2009 where he was living with his mother and teenage son.
Bebb-Jones’ attorneys have now asked for a hearing about the validity of forensic pathology related to the skull.
In a court filing, they say 9th Judicial District prosecutors indicated in a report on Friday, September 14, that forensic anthropologist Dr Diane France now says she believes two defects in the cranium were caused by a bullet.
They said this was “Despite the fact she noted these same defects seven years earlier and attributed no significance to them when it came to cause or manner of death”.
Bebb-Jones’ attorneys only became aware of the report six weeks before the trial, so Judge Dan Petre has given them more time to find their own expert witnesses on the matter.
Judge Petre has been hearing days of testimony on a flurry of motions related to the upcoming trial.
Public defenders on behalf of Bebb-Jones are challenging evidence obtained by police after the incident such as interviewing the Kidderminster man without reading him his rights.
Bebb-Jones is also challenging his extradition from England.