A complaint from the widow of a Colorado Springs tow-truck driver who was dragged to his death in 2011 has led officials to halt the early prison release of Detra Farries, the woman whose recklessness was blamed for killing him.
The Arapahoe County Community Corrections board will vote Oct. 17 whether to revisit its decision last month accepting Farries, 41, into a Denver-area women’s halfway house.
Her transfer to a nonprofit residential center was approved in a Sept. 20 vote, and Farries was notified that she would be moved there from the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility once a bed became available.
But after the decision became public, an El Paso County prosecutor notified the community corrections program that victim Allen Lew Rose’s widow hadn’t been properly notified that the transfer was being considered, as the law requires, said Brad Kamby, Judicial Services division manager in Arapahoe County.
Colorado Department of Corrections officials are “adamant” that notices were mailed in advance of the board’s September decision, said Kamby, who advises the board.
Even so, Farries’ transfer has been halted until the board can consider the complaint, Kamby added.
At its next meeting this month, the board will vote whether to re-review the case. If the board votes no, then Farries will be transferred as soon as a bed is open. If the board votes yes, then it will re-hear the case Nov. 21 and render a decision then, Kamby said.
Farries, of Denver, was convicted in 2012 of manslaughter and six other counts in Rose’s death. A jury heard evidence that the Iraq War veteran was trying to tow Farries’ SUV when she got in and drove away. Rose became ensnared in a tow cable left dangling from her vehicle and was dragged 1.4 miles through the streets of eastern Colorado Springs.
Rose, a married father of two, was conscious when medics found him in the street, after an ordeal that caused his flesh and clothing to smolder. He died in the back of an ambulance.
Farries denied knowing that Rose was being dragged behind her, and her attorneys told jurors she believed the tow-truck driver was in a car that was following her. That vehicle was actually occupied by two good Samaritans trying to get her to stop.
In petitioning for community corrections, Farries asked for a “stepping stone” to reuniting with her family and society, according to a portion of her application obtained by The Gazette.
Her two-page, handwritten statement doesn’t acknowledge guilt or mention Rose, though she said she has focused on self-improvement in prison. If released, she hopes to operate a salon or outreach ministry, she said.
“I have utilized every opportunity to better myself and to ensure that I was not the same broken woman upon my release as I was when I entered,” Farries said.