Feb 21, 2012 8:41 PM by Andy Koen

Dragging death suspect will not take the stand

The woman accused in the dragging death of a local tow truck driver told the judge that she will not take the stand in her own defense. However, defense attorneys for Detra Farries did question the detectives who interviewed her and played audio and video records of those interrogations for jurors.

The first was a video recording that took place shortly after Farries was taken into custody and happened at the Police Operations Center in downtown Colorado Springs.

Through the first several minutes of questioning, Farries explained how she was in the process of moving to Denver and had many of her personal belongings in the back of the Chevy Suburban. She described watching tow truck driver Allen Rose approaching the parking lot of the Park Hill Apartments and stopping near her vehicle. She said she was there visiting her cousin Bruce Knight and that the two of them were outside at the time.

When she realized that Rose was towing her vehicle, which had all of her personal belongings in it, she ran to the SUV, got in and drove away.

The detectives questioned whether she saw the tow truck driver and she said yes. She described driving away and watching him wave his arms at her as if to tell her to stop. However, she said she didn't stop because she wanted the chance to take her things out of the vehicle.

During several minutes of questioning, she gave no indication that she knew Rose was being dragged behind the vehicle. She seemed surprised and wept when they told her that she did, in fact, drag him and that he died.

Farries talked about wanting the detectives to see and hear what she experienced, so all three got in a squad car and drove the route she took. Jurors heard an audio recording from that trip.

During the drive, the detectives repeatedly questioned whether she saw or heard anything and she continued to say no.

Another video clip played for the jury that showed a point of view perspective of the inside of her Suburban. It was made by one of the detectives at the scene of where she parked her car. The rear window was completely blocked her belongings. The clip also showed that the driver's side view mirror was cracked.

Defense attorneys questioned the detectives on the stand. One of them, Detective Phil Tollefson of the Major Accidents Unit, testified that he did not make a professional opinion about whether the incident was an accident or a homicide.

He explained that he would have preferred to recreate of the dragging using Farries vehicle and a test object to establish definitively whether she could see either the tow cable or Mr. Rose being dragged behind her vehicle.  Tollefson testified that he was informed by his chain of command that the re-enactment would not be permitted.

Tollefson said that today he considers the dragging to be a tragic accident. He also stated that several photographs were taken in the police department garage looking into the mirrors from Farries perspective to determine whether an officer lying on a creeper could be viewed.

The prosecutors indicated that they had a final witness to call tomorrow. Closing arguments are expected to begin in the afternoon.


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