Man pleads guilty in Colo. dragging death |

Man pleads guilty in Colo. dragging death

CASTLE ROCK ” A man accused of killing his girlfriend by dragging her behind a car with a tow strap around her neck pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder, accepting a deal that lets him avoid a possible death sentence.

A judge immediately sentenced Jose Luis Rubi-Nava, 38, to life in prison without parole for the September 2006 death of Luz Maria Franco Fierros, 49.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty but agreed to the life sentence if Rubi-Nava pleaded guilty to murder. They will also drop kidnapping and other charges.

Franco Fierros’ battered and disfigured body was found at the end of 1 1/2-mile trail of blood near Castle Rock, about 20 miles south of Denver. Authorities say they could not immediately tell if the victim was a man or a woman, and it took three days to positively identify her.

Investigators said Rubi-Nava told them Franco Fierros was alive when he began dragging her. An autopsy found she died from strangulation and massive head wounds.

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