Abling Now Faces 1st Degree Murder Charges in Connection to Alba Death


Marla Abling

Marla Abling is now facing a probable cause, first degree murder charge with intent, in connection with the January 23 death of 45-year-old Lamar resident Rory Alba, upgraded from the original charge of second degree murder.  The more severe charge followed the gathering of additional information which was presented to the D.A. by the Lamar Police Department.  District Attorney, Jennifer Swanson, of the 15th Judicial District Court, told The Prowers Journal today, that the facts gathered in the case resulted in the first degree murder charge with intent.  The initial additional charge of domestic violence remains against Abling, Swanson said. 

“There was enough original information presented to make a case for second degree murder,” Swanson explained, “but the new information we have caused the first degree murder charge to be presented to the court.”  Abling went before Judge Stanley Brinkley today, February 20, for a bond hearing and case management discussion with her two public defenders, Raymond Torres and Russell Zane from the La Junta Public Defenders Office.  Assistant District Attorney, Lane Porter, represented the people with District Attorney Swanson in today’s hearing. 

Swanson said the more severe charge will bring a more severe penalty for a guilty verdict.  Asked if the death penalty could be attached, Swanson said it probably won’t factor into this case, but a sentence to life in prison is a more distinct possibility.  An F-2 charge could run between a minimum of eight years and a maximum of 24 years and up to 48 years in all for exceptional cases.  The District Attorney explained that an F-1 classification carries a minimum charge of life and a death penalty as the maximum sentence that could be handed down. 

Abling was remanded to the Prowers County Jail after the hearing, now with no bond available for her release.  She had been previously held on $100,000 bond that had not been met since her incarceration.  Swanson said Abling’s next appearance will be at 9am on March 6 and she will be held without bond until her trial date is set.  Abling was arrested by Lamar Police the day the department received a 911 call to the 800 block of South 9th Street in Lamar where Alba’s body was found.  Swanson said this is an ongoing case and the investigation into Alba’s death is continuing.

By Russ Baldwin


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