Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information from the Department of Corrections that was misplaced in a technological glitch Wednesday.
A woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for the dragging death of a Colorado Springs tow-truck driver in 2011 will be released early.
Detra Dione Farries, 41, was accepted this month by an Arapahoe County community corrections house, where she will continue to serve her sentence in a less-secure residential facility and could be eligible for work release.
Farries, who has spent more than seven years at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, will be transferred to the nonprofit Arapahoe County Residential Center once a spot becomes available, authorities say.
“Generally, there are two ways people transition out of prison — on parole or community corrections status,” said Greg Mauro, a Denver-area community corrections administrator.
Parolees are generally free to live on their own, unlike Farries and other inmates in community corrections.
Farries, of Denver, was convicted of manslaughter and six other counts in the Feb. 11, 2011, death of Allen Lew Rose, an Iraq War veteran who was dragged 1.4 miles through the streets of eastern Colorado Springs after he became ensnared by a tow cable left dangling from Farries’ sport utility vehicle.
The tragedy came as Rose, a married father of two, was trying to remove Farries’ SUV from the parking lot at the Hill Park Apartments, 360 N. Murray Blvd.
At some point, Farries got inside her SUV and drove away. The cable snapped off Rose’s tow truck and remained on Farries’ SUV, and Rose became ensnared around the ankles as he ran after the fleeing woman, trying to get her to stop.
During a closely watched trial in 2012, Farries’ attorneys argued that she didn’t know Rose was being dragged behind her because her view was obstructed by broken or damaged vehicle mirrors.
Horrified motorists honked, and pedestrians waved their arms and shouted as Rose was dragged until his clothing and flesh began to smoke.
Attorneys for Farries noted how she burst into tears in a police station upon being told what happened, after consistently expressing puzzlement over the amount of trouble she seemed to be in.
Community corrections is part of the state’s step-down process for inmates awaiting release, though not all qualify. In Arapahoe County, candidates are vetted and ultimately approved by a community corrections board.
“They look at institutional behavior, programming that’s been completed, disciplinary violations, amenability for treatment” and other factors, said Brad Kamby, who advises the board as division manager for Arapahoe County Judicial Services.
Farries qualified for community corrections, but that decision is up to the community corrections board, not the state Department of Corrections, spokeswoman Annie Skinner said. The boards in Denver and Arapahoe County had rejected Farries for community corrections in 2018, but Arapahoe County approved her Sept. 20.
"Victim notifications were sent out in May and in June informing them that Ms. Farries had applied for community corrections. We also sent victim notification out once Ms. Farries was accepted to community corrections," Skinner reported by email. "At this time, she is still in custody at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility awaiting transfer to the community corrections facility."
Farries was scored as a low to “very low” risk for reoffending by a state tool that tries to predict recidivism, said Kamby.
In August 2018, she was denied an earlier bid for community corrections placement by the Denver Community Corrections Board, said spokesman Greg Mauro.
Community corrections centers are supervised but aren’t locked down.
According to a state community corrections website, inmates may be eligible to leave to work or get treatment.
Farries has not been granted parole, which could lead to her being allowed to live on her own.
She became eligible for parole in May and has another parole hearing set for May.
The Colorado Court of Appeals denied her bid for a new trial in May 2016. The Supreme Court allowed the decision to stand in May 2017.
Her release comes roughly two years after Farries unsuccessfully sought to shorten her 20-year sentence, arguing that she was punished too harshly for what she has consistently called a tragic accident.
Prosecutors said she has never accepted responsibility. In opposing the motion, they noted that she wore a T-shirt on the last day of her trial that read, “Only God Can Judge Me.”
“(She) blames everyone but herself,” prosecutor Jeffrey Lindsey wrote in opposition.
Renee Rose, the victim’s daughter, was among those who urged 4th Judicial District Judge Jann DuBois to reject the petition.
She was an adolescent when she lost her father, and the memories are starting to fade, she told KRDO in a tearful interview in October 2017.
“I’m starting to forget what his voice sounded like,” she said.