Sunday 28 May 2017

Ex-beauty queen pleads guilty to kidnap and torture

Former beauty queen Kumari Fulbright during a calendar photo shoot. She pleaded guilty to kidnapping and torturing her ex-boyfriend. AP PHOTO
Former beauty queen Kumari Fulbright during a calendar photo shoot. She pleaded guilty to kidnapping and torturing her ex-boyfriend. AP PHOTO

Dean Alexander in Tucson

FORMER American beauty queen Kumari Fulbright has pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and torture of her ex-boyfriend.

Josh Conway was abducted in December 2007, and yesterday Fulbright admitted to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault in Pima County Superior Court in Tucson, Arizona.

According to police reports, the former model and three other men, including a former boyfriend, lured Mr Conway to her apartment, tied him up with duct tape and plastic ties and accused him of stealing jewellery from Fulbright and pawning it.

Mr Conway told police that at one point Fulbright straddled him, bit his ear, stuck a knife in his ear and then threatened to shove it into his brain.

At the time, the charges shocked the people who knew Fulbright in her hometown of Carrolton, Texas, according to an article in 'The Dallas Morning News'.

The article says she was a star pupil at the Colony High School. She served as an honour society officer, student council member and varsity cheerleader.

"If there was ever a perfect teenager it would be her," neighbour and Fulbright's former history teacher Belle Joyner told the paper at the time.

"She was kind, caring, studious. She was the girl next door, better than the girl next door."

She also showed academic promise; at the time of the alleged crime, she was in the middle of her second year of law school at the University of Arizona and a volunteer clerk for US District Judge Raner Collins.

Although Fulbright had agreed to the guilty plea negotiated by her lawyer, Steve Weiss, and the prosecutors, she appeared defiant in court while the judge read out the charges, saying she did not agree with her attorney's description of the crime, according to the 'Arizona Daily Star'.

Each time Judge Richard Nichols asked her if she committed a particular act, she refused to answer yes or no, saying "I agree I'm pleading guilty" or "I am guilty" or "the evidence shows that".

At one point, Fulbright snapped that she reads, writes and understands English and that she signed the plea agreement, according to the 'Daily Star'.

She will be formally sentenced on March 1, after the trial of one of her co-defendants and former boyfriend, Robert Ergonis is completed.

Irish Independent

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