A British poker player has admitted murdering his wife in what he called the ‘heat of passion’. Marcus Bebb-Jones, who hails from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in the United States, where he has admitted murdering his wife Sabrina. The murder took place 16-years ago when the couple owned the Melrose Hotel in Grand Junction near Douglas Pass in Colorado.
Bebb-Jones was arrested in a 2009 raid at his home in Worcestershire, and lost his two-year battle to avoid extradition to the United States, to face trial, back in 2011. Prosecutors claim that in the wake of his wife’s disappearance, Bebb-Jones spent thousands of pounds on a trip to Las Vegas, before shooting himself in the head in a botched suicide attempt. After his recuperation he returned to the UK with their son, who was just three-years old at the time.
The skull of Mrs Bebb-Jones was found in 2004 in Douglas Pass Colorado.
“Since the skull was discovered it’s taken three and a half years to bring [the case] to fruition.” District Attorney, Sheri Caloia, told the BBC, “Pleading to first degree murder would be a life sentence, but this charge of second degree murder with provocation carries a maximum of 32 years.”
Following the murder of his wife, and subsequent return to the UK, Bebb-Jones started playing poker online at William Hill. In 2007, he qualified for the William Hill Poker Grand Prix II where he played on a heat shown on Sky Sports alongside the likes of Johnny Lodden and Ross Boatman.
After that televised appearance Bebb-Jones spent time on the live UK poker circuit where he won a Pot Limit Hold’em event at the Grosvenor Grand Prix for $184,370. A tournament that included the likes of former EPT and WPT Champion Roberto Romanello.
Bebb-Jones is due to be sentenced on the 1st May.