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Dragging suspect to victim: 'If you want death, here it is'

Agent recounts man's confession in Douglas slaying

Published February 2, 2007 at midnight

CASTLE ROCK - Jose Luis Rubi-Nava put a rope around his girlfriend's neck and told her, "If you want death, here it is," moments before he dragged her behind his car for more than a mile.

That version of events is part of Rubi-Nava's statement to investigators admitting he killed Luz Maria Franco Fierros, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Larry Brown told a judge Thursday.

"He said he did not stop until he had driven what he believed was three or four miles," said Brown, who interviewed Rubi-Nava in Spanish a day after the 49-year-old woman's body was found with an orange strap around her neck.

After Brown's testimony, Douglas County Judge Paul A. King ordered Rubi-Nava to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping.

He is scheduled to enter a plea March 20, after which prosecutors will have 30 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Rubi-Nava, who wore an orange jail jumpsuit and headphones to listen to an interpreter, slouched in his chair as Brown began to recount what the 36-year-old man told him about the Sept. 18 killing.

According to Brown, Rubi-Nava said he got into an explosive argument with Fierros after he accused her of cheating on him.

Fierros suggested they go for a drive and the couple headed south of Glendale, stopping at the Surrey Ridge subdivision in Douglas County.

Fierros became hysterical, insulted Rubi-Nava's mother and told him, "You're worthless as a man, that's why I have to see other men," according to Rubi-Nava's defense attorney, Tamara Brady, who read part of the statement her client gave investigators.

Brady said Rubi-Nava did not drive to the subdivision intending to kill Fierros, a mother of four who was sending money to her children in Mexico.

But according to Brown's testimony, Rubi-Nava told Fierros when he stopped the car that "one of the two of them would die that night."

Rubi-Nava slapped Fierros and hit her with a rope before tying it around her and dragging her behind his Saturn, Brown testified.

"He said he knew what he was doing was wrong and that he had repented of what he had done," Brown said.

At the conclusion of his statement to investigators, Rubi-Nava wrote, "Thank you, we are guilty." By "we," he meant a man who lived in the same apartment as the couple, Brown said.

However, prosecutors said Rubi-Nava acted alone.

The dragging left a blood trail for more than a mile on the road, said Douglas County sheriff's investigator Mike French.

He said there was "extreme damage" to Fierros' body and an autopsy showed she died of asphyxiation and massive head injuries.

Police found Fierros after a motorist called authorities at about 2:40 a.m., French said.

A photo found at the scene of Rubi-Nava and his wife in Mexico led police to him after it was distributed to media outlets, French said.

Rubi-Nava, who prosecutors said was in the country illegally, also faces forgery charges for using false government documents.

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