Judge Rules on Abling “Make My Day” Dismissal Motion Wednesday


Marla Abling

Marla Abling

Marla Abling will learn this Wednesday morning, October 23, if her defense lawyers were successful in their presentation of her actions under the “Make my Day” law in her immunity hearing in the January 23 murder of Rory Alba.  He was found dead in her apartment in Lamar earlier this year.  Judge Stanley Brinkley is scheduled to present his determination tomorrow in open court. 

Abling has been charged with first degree murder in the death of Alba.  A total of six days of evidence and testimony was heard before Judge Stanley Brinkley in the 15th Judicial District Court from Lamar Police officers and EMT responders in September and October, as presented by public defenders Ray Torrez and Russell Zane from La Junta.  The people were represented by District Attorney Jennifer Swanson and attorney Lane Porter.  Swanson took her case before the judge in early October.  The immunity hearing under the “Make my Day” law began in July when Abling’s counsel filed a motion to dismiss the first degree murder charges against her under the Colorado law. 

The defense is contending that Abling was justified in using deadly physical force against Alba as she believed her life was being threatened by him.  The District Attorney is stating that evidence shows that Alba was not an intruder, there were no signs of a forced entry into her apartment and despite a protection order against Alba, the two had been seen together.  The DA is claiming that Abling lured Alba to her apartment and the “Make my Day” law has no application in the case as her actions were part of a premeditated plan to kill him. 

District Attorney Swanson said the hearing should take less than half an hour for Judge Brinkley’s ruling.  There will be an either/or scenario as to what happens next depending on the ruling.  If Judge Brinkley decides the charges will stand and the immunity ruling does not apply in the case, Abling can have a preliminary hearing and an arraignment on the first degree murder charges.  Once the preliminary hearing is concluded, the judge can decide to maintain those charges, or that she will be brought to trial on a lesser charge in Alba’s death.  Swanson said that the Alba family will have some input into any reduced changes that may be considered in a pending trial.

  If the judge decides that the “Make my Day” law is applicable, the charges against Abling as well as her bail bond of $150,000 will be dismissed.  Swanson said she will not simply be able to walk away at that point, as there is another charge against her not connected to the Alba case for a violation of a probation revocation.  Swanson said there’s a $1,500 bond that has to be posted on a separate case that must be resolved.  The District Attorney said that if Abling is found to have immunity, “we’ll get the appellate wheels turning,” to take the case on to a higher court for prosecution.  Swanson said Abling has been held in the Prowers County Jail since she was charged.

By Russ Baldwin

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Filed Under: communityCountyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementPolice ReportsProwers CountyThe Journal Alert


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