LOST WEEKEND

WHY DID SEAN COX KILL BOBBY YARBROUGH? DON'T ASK HIM.NO REMORSE ANOTHER PARTY. ANOTHER GUN. ANOTHER KILLER WITHOUT A CLUE.

The way Cox sees it, that encounter was one of the great missed opportunities of his life. "I could have called the coach," Cox says. "She told me he would give me a tryout and stuff and help me with [the college application] paperwork and all that. I never even followed up on that. I just spaced it out. If I would have persisted myself in that direction further, I probably wouldn't be here."

In January, Cox and the Denver district attorney's office settled the case of Bobby Yarbrough without a trial. Cox agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter; the prosecution dropped its charge of first-degree murder. Deputy District Attorney Bill Robbins, the lead prosecutor on the case, says the plea bargain was necessary because of general unreliability on the part of the partygoers who saw the shooting. "We just didn't feel comfortable with the witnesses," Robbins says.

Last month, Denver District Judge R. Michael Mullins sentenced Sean Cox to twelve years in prison, the maximum allowed under the law. Mullins told Cox that he hoped, when Cox is released, that "you can put this behind you and lead a much better life in the future."

Cox figures he'll be eligible for parole in about four years. Since his sentencing, he says, he's reflected a lot about his life, his drinking, and the night he killed Bobby Yarbrough.

"It could have been handled differently," he says. "But there's nothing I can do about that now. That's the situation that happened; that's how it occurred. You can't go back and change it or anything. You've just got to deal with it.

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