GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — A 49-year-old poker champion from England who pleaded guilty to killing his wife and dumping her body in western Colorado in 1997 is asking to be transferred to England to serve the remainder of his prison sentence after completing Colorado's application process.
Marcus Bebb-Jones confessed to killing his wife in the heat of passion. He reported his wife missing in 1997 when the two owned a hotel in Grand Junction. A rancher found her skull in a remote wooded area on Douglas Pass in Garfield County in 2004.
Bebb-Jones, 50, was sentenced to 20 years in prison May 1 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Sabrina.
Colorado allows foreign nationals to apply to serve their sentences in their home countries in cases where the countries have treaties with the United States, but no such transfers have occurred.
Roger Hudson, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, said it appears Bebb-Jones "has completed and submitted the paperwork necessary to transfer his incarceration" to the United Kingdom. Hudson said the Department of Corrections hasn't heard back about the status of Bebb-Jones' application. Transfers can be denied by the governor. They also require approval of the U.S. Department of Justice and the treaty nation involved.
Bebb-Jones is from England; his mother and his and Sabrina's son live there.
Foreign nationals who have committed violent crimes in Colorado must have fewer than 10 years to serve before being eligible for parole in order to apply for a transfer. A 20-year sentence means eligibility for parole in 10 years, and Bebb-Jones will be eligible even sooner because of credit for about three and a half years spent in custody before his sentencing after his arrest in 2009.
Robert Dang, Sabrina's brother, said by email last May that the family was disappointed by the process and the total time Bebb-Jones might serve, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/lnpkjnh).
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia said previously the outcome of the case was a fair one given challenges such as the fact that it dated back 16 years, Sabrina's body never was found and a cause of death never was determined.
Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com