Plea Agreement Reached in Abling – Alba Murder Case

Prowers County Courthouse

Prowers County Courthouse

First degree murder charges against 49 year old Marla Abling of Lamar have been reduced to Manslaughter/Reckless, a Class 4 Felony that brings with it a recommended sentence of ten years and three years parole.

Judge Stan Brinkley presided over the plea agreement hearing in the 15th Judicial Prowers County Court in Lamar Tuesday morning, May 12.  Abling, who had been facing first degree murder charges in the death of Rory Alba, had been incarcerated at the Prowers County Jail since her arrest in January of 2013.  Alba was found dead in her apartment in Lamar on January 23, 2013.  He was 45.  Abling was represented by Russell Zane, a public defender who had been one of three counsels assigned to her case.  The People were represented by District Attorney Jennifer Swanson.  Five additional counts against Abling were dismissed in the agreement.

Abling was questioned at length by Judge Brinkley as to whether she fully understood her rights and obligations regarding the plea agreement and was making her statements of her own free will.  As part of the agreement she waived her rights to a public, speedy or jury trial.  A jury trial date of August 4, 2015 had been set by the court, but in accepting the plea agreement, will no longer be held.

Ron Alba, a brother of the deceased, was visibly upset and angry with the length of sentencing recommended in the plea agreement when given the opportunity to express his thoughts on behalf of the Alba family by Judge Brinkley.  “We don’t agree with these charges…to see first degree murder reduced to manslaughter.  Why is this so lenient?  Every time there was a meeting or motions, we keep on seeing a smaller sentence.”

Judge Brinkley told Mr. Alba the court understands his concerns on the agreement and he will be given another opportunity to address the court when Abling is officially sentenced.  Brinkley set that date for Wednesday, May 27 at 3pm.

By Russ Baldwin

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Filed Under: communityCountyFeaturedHot TopicsLamarLaw EnforcementProwers CountyThe Journal Alert


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