Bebb-Jones murder case tangled by Garfield County detective’s resignation
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A Garfield County detective quit last month over alleged financial irregularities, and it was revealed in court on Thursday that his resignation might become “impeachment” fodder in a pending murder trial.
The former detective, Eric Ashworth, resigned around April 17, according to a formal disclosure statement issued by the Ninth District Attorney’s office on April 25.
Public defender Matt Morriss confirmed that the matter came up in court on Thursday during a hearing in the case against Marcus Bebb-Jones.
Bebb-Jones, a British celebrity gambler, is accused of murdering his Vietnamese-born wife, Sabrina Bebb-Jones, in 1997 and dumping her body in a remote portion of western Garfield County.
The two were living in Grand Junction and running a small lodge at the time, and Bebb-Jones later moved back to his native country.
The victim’s skull was found in 2004, sparking a lengthy investigation that resulted in Bebb-Jones being arrested in Britain in 2009 and extradited back to Colorado in 2010.
The DA’s statement, a legally required disclosure sent to attorneys and other parties in the Bebb-Jones case, was obtained from a source by the Post Independent.
Ashworth’s resignation, according to the DA’s statement, “may have been based upon” accusations that he used a sheriff’s office credit card to pay for meals, after he already had received per-diem payment for the same meals.
Public Defender Matt Morriss, who is handling Bebb-Jones’ defense, predicted that his office will be seeking more information from Sheriff Lou Vallario about Ashworth’s resignation, and that it may be used to impeach Ashworth’s credibility as a witness.
Vallario did not respond to emailed requests for comment on Thursday afternoon.
Ashworth, along with other law enforcement personnel, testified in a preliminary hearing in the Bebb-Jones case in March.
A judge subsequently ruled that there was sufficient evidence against the defendant to warrant further prosecution.
The details underlying Ashworth’s resignation, Morriss said, “potentially affect his credibility as a witness.”
Morriss said the local public defender’s office will be looking into the matter prior to the next hearing in the case, on June 6.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User