On the last day of her 2012 trial in the dragging-death of a Colorado Springs tow truck driver, Detra Dione Farries showed up for court in a T-shirt that read: Only God Can Judge Me.
Her choice of apparel that day reflects a continuing refusal to accept blame for the gruesome death of Allen Lew Rose, a prosecutor argued this month in opposing Farries’ request for a sentence reduction.
“(She) blames everyone but herself,” prosecutor Jeffrey Lindsey wrote in a legal filing submitted Wednesday. He described Farries’ T-shirt as an act of “defiance” against the jury, the judge and “the criminal justice system as a whole.”
Farries, now 39, asked a judge last month to consider reducing her 20-year sentence in Rose’s death on Feb. 23, 2011, arguing she was given a disproportionate sentence for what she has consistently said was a tragic accident.
Her motion, filed Sept. 18, is pending before 4th Judicial District Judge Jann DuBois, who can either grant a hearing or deny the request based on legal filings.
The dispute involves one of the most notorious local crimes of the past decade — one that affected dozens of people who witnessed the grim spectacle of Rose being dragged through the streets until his clothing caught fire, as fellow motorists honked their horns, waved their arms and drove in pursuit after her.
The Iraq War veteran and married father of two was preparing to tow Farries’ GMC Suburban from the Hill Park Apartments on Murray Boulevard on the city’s east side when Farries got into the sport utility vehicle and drove over a parking block to get away.
In a deadly chain of events, the cable from the tow truck’s winch snapped and began flailing behind the vehicle as Rose ran after her.
During the foot chase, Rose became ensnared by the cable just as Farries exited the complex and began speeding east. He was dragged nearly 1½ miles to his death.
Farries said she thought Rose was in a small green car that was pursuing her. It was actually occupied by two good Samaritans who were trying to get her to pull over as Rose screamed in her wake with the cable wrapped around his ankles.
In arguing that her penalty was too harsh, Farries’ motion says that at least some jurors concluded she didn’t know Rose was being dragged behind her — the basis for her defense.
Her attorneys cited cases involving repeat drunken drivers who received lighter penalties, and they again attacked the state law against leaving the scene of an accident, which prescribes harsh penalties even when someone isn’t aware an accident occurred.
In March, the state Court of Appeals rejected similar arguments in shooting down Farries’ 4-year-old appeal.
In a 25-page opinion, a three-judge panel cast a wary eye at the claim Farries didn’t know Rose had become ensnared by the tow cable which remained attached to her rear axle as she sped away to avoid being towed. The judges cited “substantial evidence” Farries would have been alerted by noise from the tow hooks, screaming from the victim, honking from passing motorists as well as the visual of a two-foot-wide trail of blood behind her.
The state Supreme Court declined to review the case in May, leaving sentence reconsideration among her dwindling legal options for getting out of prison before she is eligible for parole.
If the judge rejects the sentence reconsideration motion, Farries can argue that she received ineffective assistance of counsel, another possible path toward a new trial.
Farries is eligible for release on Jan. 27, 2030, state records show.