Former GJ hotel owner accused of slaying wife denied bond
A former Grand Junction hotel owner accused of killing his wife in 1997 was denied bail by a United Kingdom judge Thursday after an attorney argued he might attempt suicide.
According to a report published by the Kidderminster Shuttle newspaper, 46-year-old Marcus Bebb-Jones was ordered Thursday to remain in custody and return to court Dec. 9 in Westminster for an extradition hearing, the early stages of a process that authorities have said may take months or up to a year.
The newspaper’s account said an attorney, who spoke on behalf of U.S. prosecutors, told the judge during bond arguments Thursday that Bebb-Jones already attempted suicide in 1997 in the immediate aftermath of the death of his wife, Sabrina, 31, and he may try again if allowed to walk free.
“Mr. Bebb-Jones has no reason whatsoever to surrender to this court to face the rather uninvited prospect of return to the U.S.,” attorney Aaron Watkins said Thursday, according to the Shuttle report.
Attempts on Thursday to reach prosecutors involved in the case were unsuccessful.
Bebb-Jones, a professional poker player in England, was arrested Nov. 17 at his home in Kidderminster, just after he returned from a several-months-long job search in China, an attorney representing Bebb-Jones said in court Thursday.
Bebb-Jones had recently been hired as a financial consultant.
“Unfortunately,” attorney Ben Keith is quoted in the newspaper’s account, “he had either spent or lost the remains of that money (poker earnings) as he was recently on benefits, both housing benefits and income support, in order to fund his lifestyle.”
He had been living with his mother and 15-year-old son.
Bebb-Jones, the former owner of Grand Junction’s Hotel Melrose on Colorado Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, who was reported missing in September 1997.
Bebb-Jones left Grand Junction for Las Vegas with his 3-year-old son that same month, telling at least one person he was going to look for his wife there.
He attempted suicide Sept. 21 in a Las Vegas hotel room by shooting himself in the head, but the bullet left a minor grazing wound.
Sabrina Bebb-Jones’ blood was found in a minivan he had driven, while detectives learned he had charged nearly $6,000 to her credit cards in Las Vegas, renting a Ferrari and paying prostitutes among other expenses, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He returned to his native England in 1998.
Sabrina Bebb-Jones’ skull was found by a rancher on Douglas Pass in 2004.