Judge: Murder Suspect Not Mentally Retarded

Carrie Porter, Rocky Mountain News, August 23, 2008

A judge has ruled that defense attorneys for a man accused of dragging his girlfriend to death failed to prove he is mentally retarded, meaning he could get the death penalty if convicted.


Rubi-Nava, 38, is charged with murder and kidnapping in the death of Luz Maria Franco Fierros, 49.


Douglas County District Judge Paul King issued his ruling on the mental retardation issue on July 17 after 12 days of hearings over five months.


Colorado law doesn’t allow the execution of mentally retarded people. The defense has said a test administered by two experts found Rubi-Nava’s IQ was 66. Generally, those with an IQ of below 70 are considered mentally retarded.

Rubi-Nava is from Mexico, and a prosecution witness testified that his test results were improperly compared with random samples from the United States, instead of from his home country.

In a court filing, defense attorneys Tamara Brady, Jay Grant and Andrew Heher called King’s ruling “unprecedented.”

“Mr. Rubi-Nava’s intellectual functioning must be compared to the society or population where his conduct and behavior occurred,” the attorneys wrote.

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