Bebb-Jones preliminary hearing continued
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A British man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in western Garfield County must wait until mid-March to learn whether he will face continued prosecution at the hands of local authorities.
Marcus Bebb-Jones, 48, hoped to learn at a preliminary hearing on Friday whether or not the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office has sufficient evidence against him to warrant further court proceedings in his case.
But after the hearing took the entire day, and clearly was nowhere near finished by 5 p.m., District Judge Daniel Petre declared, “Seems to me like we’ve misjudged badly,” regarding how much time the hearing would need.
By the end of the day, attorneys for the prosecution and the defense conceded that a second entire day is needed, and the case was continued to March 15.
Marcus Bebb-Jones, on trial for first degree murder, is accused of killing his Vietnamese-born wife, Sabrina Bebb-Jones, in September 1997, at a time when the couple and their toddler son were living in Grand Junction and running the Melrose Hotel there.
According to the prosecution, Marcus Bebb-Jones went on a gambling spree in Las Vegas at roughly the same time that his wife was reported missing by an employee at the Melrose Hotel.
DA Martin Beeson, in his opening statement at the preliminary hearing, called the case “the sordid tale of a gambler who now finds himself in the biggest poker game of his life.”
Beeson argued that Marcus Bebb-Jones wanted out of the marriage, needed money, and did not want to lose custody of the couple’s three-year-old son, Daniel.
Sabrina Bebb-Jones, Beeson declared “stood in the way. She was an obstacle.”
Once Sabrina Bebb-Jones was dead, Beeson continued, Marcus Bebb-Jones took his son to Las Vegas, which happened to be where Sabrina’s family lived.
While there, he allegedly spread around a story about arguing with his wife at a Grand Junction mall and watching her walk out, never to return.
The prosecution alleges that Marcus Bebb-Jones took rooms in several Las Vegas hotels, bought expensive clothes and rented a Ferrari to drive around in.
At one point, Beeson maintained, Marcus Bebb-Jones faked a suicide attempt to show how distraught he was over his wife’s disappearance.
He soon sold the Melrose Hotel, sent Daniel to England to live with Marcus Bebb-Jones’ mother, and then followed his son across the Atlantic to live.
The victim’s skull, authorities say, was found in 2004 by Russel Yount of Loma, who was on horseback gathering a friend’s cattle along Douglas Pass, in western Garfield County.
An investigation uncovered evidence that Sabrina Bebb-Jones had been murdered, and in 2010 the DA’s office extradited Marcus Bebb-Jones back to the United States to face trial.
Daniel, now 18, remains in England.
At the preliminary hearing, the prosecution called members of Sabrina Bebb-Jones’ family, two of whom spoke English haltingly and testified through an interpreter.
Other testimony came from investigator Kevin Imbriaco of the Grand Junction Police Department.
By the end of the day, Imbriaco was still on the stand undergoing questioning by prosecutor Jeff Cheney, and had yet to be cross-examined by public defenders Matt Morriss and Jim Conway.
Cheney told the judge that he had two witnesses yet to call, to be followed by witnesses for the defense and then closing arguments by the two sides.
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