Mile High Murder: Three's hardly a crowd on Colorado death row after Robert Ray's sentence
Yesterday, Robert Ray was sentenced to death in connection with the 2005 murders of Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe -- a verdict that duplicated the one previously given to Ray's accomplice, Sir Mario Owens. The ruling brings the population of Colorado's death row to three; Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted in 1996 of four slayings at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, is the third member of this ignominious group.
Both Owens and Ray were on a list of "Inmates Waitin' Around to Die" -- the title of Alan Prendergast's sidebar to a feature article about Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers' approach to billing the prison system for expensive death-penalty prosecutions. As for the states with the largest death row populations, California, Florida and Texas traditionally lead the pack, and their stats certainly dwarf Colorado's. According to a searchable page on the Death Penalty Information Center website, California's current death-row population is 678, followed by Florida with 402 and Texas with 358.
These numbers will reassure most Coloradans -- but not the friends and family of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- NFL Memes' Best Insults to Tom Brady, Patriots After Loss to Broncos
Wed., Dec. 9, 7:00pm
Wed., Dec. 9, 8:00pm
Fri., Dec. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Dec. 11, 7:35pm
- Ten of Denver's Most Economically Integrated Neighborhoods
- Sydney White at Sentencing for Kicking Toddler to Death: "I Hate Myself"