4

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >