U.K. murder suspect to return to U.S. for trial
A professional poker player accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in western Colorado in 1997 reportedly has been cleared to stand trial in the U.S., ending a protracted extradition battle in his home country of England.
The Kidderminster Shuttle newspaper reported Thursday that London’s High Court dismissed 47-year-old Marcus Bebb-Jones’ appeal fighting his extradition to Garfield County to face first-degree murder charges in the death of 31-year-old Sabrina Bebb-Jones. The newspaper reported Bebb-Jones signed a consent order withdrawing his appeal before Thursday’s High Court hearing but then tried to withdraw his withdrawal. High Court officials rejected his application and dismissed his appeal.
Bebb-Jones and his court-appointed attorney have fought extradition, claiming a sentence of life without parole would be disproportionate to the crime and represent a human rights violation.
Tanny McGinnis, spokeswoman for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, said she didn’t have any information about Bebb-Jones’ court proceedings in England. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson, who is prosecuting a murder trial in Meeker, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
Marcus and Sabrina Bebb-Jones owned the Hotel Melrose in Grand Junction at the time Sabrina disappeared. Her skull was found near Douglas Pass in Garfield County in 2004.
Court records indicate Bebb-Jones went to Las Vegas in the days after his wife disappeared and charged thousands of dollars to credit cards in his wife’s name. He also survived a suicide attempt inside a Las Vegas hotel room.
Bebb-Jones eventually moved back to his native England and won hundreds of thousands of dollars as a professional poker player before being arrested in November 2009.