Westminster magistrates have postponed a ruling in today’s extradition hearing for accused murderer, Marcus Bebb-Jones, winner of the 2007 Grosvenor Grand Prix. District Judge Howard Riddle is scheduled to announce his decision in the case next month, on April 12.
Bebb-Jones has been accused by US prosecutors of the 1997 killing of his American wife, Sabrina Bebb-Jones, near their home in Grand Junction, Colorado, where the couple owned and operated the Hotel Melrose. He is said to have dumped her body in the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado, where her skull was found in 2004, seven years after her disappearance.
The weekend after Sabrina’s disappearance, Marcus Bebb-Jones allegedly used his wife’s credit cards to gamble and party in Las Vegas before attempting a botched suicide. The couple’s son was three years old at the time.
While the US government has agreed not to seek the death penalty in the pending murder case Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in accordance with UK extradition policies Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Bebb-Jones’ barrister, Ben Cooper, is seeking to further reduce the maximum possible sentence of mandatory life without parole, calling it Ã¢â‚¬Å“inhuman.Ã¢â‚¬Â He went on to say that life without parole was Ã¢â‚¬Å“grossly disproportionateÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“inconsistent with the standards of justice we hold dear, taking no account of the gravity of the crime or progress made towards rehabilitation,Ã¢â‚¬Â adding that, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It really does create a mockery of justice.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Aaron Watson, representing the US government in the extradition hearing, informed the court that there did exist the remote possibility of clemency or reprieve in the case, but that a potential sentence of life without the possibility of parole should not be an impediment to extradition.
The barrister, Ben Cooper, has also requested of US authorities that the accused be allowed to serve out his sentence in the UK, stating that Marcus Bebb-Jones is the sole guardian of his and Sabrina’s now 16 year old son.
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