Detra Farries will remain behind bars after all.
A Denver-area prison alternatives board has revoked its promise of an early release for Farries, 41, who is serving a 20-year prison term for dragging a man to his death in Colorado Springs in 2011. An Arapahoe County Community Corrections board spokesman said the panel reversed itself Thursday after fresh opposition from the victim’s widow.
Farries remains at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, where the story of her on-again, off-again potential transfer is far from over.
State law directs when and how often Colorado inmates go up for consideration for placement in halfway houses, and Farries is guaranteed a fresh review by a different county.
That process can begin “days” after a denial, Kamby said. Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Annie Skinner confirmed Farries was entitled to review by a different county after last week’s revocation but didn’t have a timeline.
“She won’t be in front of a board in a matter of days,” Skinner said, distinguishing between when a referral is made and when the board votes.
Farries won placement into an Aurora women’s halfway house in September.
But victim Allen Lew Rose’s widow, Renee Baker, complained she wasn’t properly alerted that Farries was being considered for early release. State prison officials, who are responsible for sending the notifications, disputed Ward’s claims.
After the board agreed to “re-review” Farries’ case last week, the widow spoke in opposition Farries’ release, addressing the crime’s effect on her family.
It appears to mark the first about-face by the board in the past few years at least, said Brad Kamby, who supervises Arapahoe County’s community corrections program.
Kamby said the approval vote was 11-5 and board’s vote to revoke was 9-4.
The board consists of 19 people, mostly professionals from the criminal justice world, including representatives of local police agencies, the district attorney’s office and the public defender’s office. He said the board’s policy prevents him from identifying how individual board members voted, although votes are made and tallied in public.
Even if Farries is denied again in the months ahead, she will be put up for consideration from at least two counties every six months.
Community-based corrections programs are part of the state’s step-down process to ease crowding and control costs in the state prisons. They let inmates continue to serve their sentences in a less-secure residential facility, and possibly be eligible for work release.
Farries, of Denver, was convicted of manslaughter and six other counts in the Feb. 11, 2011, death of Rose, an Iraq War veteran who was dragged 1.4 miles through the city’s east side 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.
Farries denied knowing that Rose had become ensnared, saying she couldn’t hear anything over engine noise from her sport utility vehicle, which was in poor condition, and couldn’t see behind her because of her family’s possessions stacked in the bed.
She said she believed the tow truck driver was in a small car that followed her as she fled the tow, which actually carried two good Samaritans honking at her to stop.
The debate whether Farries knew Rose was being dragged to death — and if her charges were appropriate, whether too severe or too lenient — have continued long after she was first detained on the day of the tragedy.
Her next parole hearing will be in March and her mandatory release date is in March 2029.