'Make My Day' immunity not granted by judge

6:55 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - A Colorado judge has not granted "Make My Day" law immunity from prosecution for 48-year-old Marla Abling in the killing of her estranged boyfriend.

Rory Alba, 45, was strangled with an electrical cord in Abling's Lamar apartment on Jan. 23. Abling admitted to killing him, according to the arrest affidavit.

The judge ruled to not set Abling free after an immunity hearing, which included six days of testimony. Abling's attorneys requested immunity based on Colorado's "Make My Day" statute. The statute is intended to protect homeowners who use deadly force to stop intruders; however, prior court rulings indicate the law can also be applied to certain domestic violence cases when an order of protection is violated.

Abling had a temporary order of protection against Alba at the time of his death. The order forbid him from going to Abling's apartment, which was a "safe house" arranged by a domestic-violence prevention organization.

Abling's attorneys have argued Alba unlawfully entered the apartment, and they claim Abling had the reasonable belief that he would commit a crime of violence against her, due to their previous history.

Prowers County District Attorney Jennifer Swanson had argued against immunity. She said the first-degree murder charge is appropriate because a witness at a salon says Abling was talking about ways to kill Alba the day before she killed him.

Police testified Alba and Abling had traded phone calls and were seen together in Lamar, despite the protection order. Officers said evidence indicated Alba may have spent hours at the apartment prior to his death. His keys were on a hook near the front door. Investigators say they found partially-eaten chicken and homemade doughnuts in the kitchen. Authorities also said physical evidence indicated Alba may have had sex shortly before he was strangled.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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