GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Marcus Bebb-Jones, a former Grand Junction hotel owner, will spend 20 years in prison for the murder of his wife.
A Garfield County judge handed down the sentence Wednesday, but he said he will be giving the 49-year-old credit for time served, which is just under 3.5 years.
On Feb. 15, Bebb-Jones pleaded guilty to the 1997 second degree murder of Sabrina Bebb-Jones, in the heat of passion.
The district attorney today dismissed the charge of first degree murder after deliberation, according to Garfield County Clerk James Bradford.
Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Bebb-Jones could not be sentenced to more than 20 years, even though second degree murder usually carries a prison sentence of up to 32 years.
Sabrina's family addressed the court Wednesday, asking for the maximum sentence. The judge said he took it under advisement.
Sixteen years ago, Bebb-Jones reported his wife, Sabrina, missing when the two owned the Melrose Hotel in Grand Junction. In 2004, a rancher found her skull in a remote wooded area on Douglas Pass.
Five years later, British police arrested Bebb-Jones in England and extradited him to Garfield County, under the condition that he would not receive the death penalty if convicted.