Woman accused in dragging death pleads not guilty

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 4:47 PM
Woman accused in dragging death pleads not guilty

A woman accused of dragging a tow truck driver to his death in Colorado has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Detra Farries heard a dozen charges Friday, including felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident in the Feb. 23 death of 35-year-old Allen Rose.

The judge cut her bond in half, from $50,000 to $25,000, but she remains in the El Paso County Jail. Trial was set for Nov. 7.

Authorities say Rose was preparing to tow an illegally parked SUV in Colorado Springs when someone got in the vehicle and drove away. Investigators say Rose tried to chase down the SUV but got tangled in the dangling tow cable and was dragged for more than a mile.

Prosecutors say Farries ignored Rose's attempts to flag her down.

Farries told police she didn't know she was being towed.

The death inspired a new state law this year that requires tow truck drivers to place a large warning sticker on the driver's side window stating that the vehicle is under tow before hitching it up. Drivers passing by a car about to be towed are required to move over a lane for the safety of the tow operator, just like vehicles must give room to police cruisers pulling someone over.

Sen. John Morse, the Democratic leader in the state Senate, says the signs are needed because towing is an "inherently dangerous job."

Farries' lawyers told a judge in May that witnesses saw the tow-truck driver run after Farries' GMC with a knife.

Farries' public defenders also told the court that Farries had limited ability to see behind her because her vehicle had broken and obscured mirrors.

Ron Archuleta, manager of Absolute Towing in Colorado Springs, said the law fell short when he tried on July 8 to tow a vehicle parked on private property. Archuleta said he stuck a warning sticker on the car and the driver ran up and tried to take back his vehicle.

Archuleta called Colorado Springs police, who issued 57-year-old Nenad Cebic a summons for a road law violation, police spokesman Steve Noblitt said. Noblitt didn't have Cebic's hometown but said Cebic was visiting from Wyoming. A phone listing for Cebic could not be found.

Archuleta said he plans to pursue civil action to recover the $75 towing fee that was never paid.

___

Information from: KRDO-TV, http://www.krdo.com/

___

Information from: KRDO-TV, http://www.krdo.com/