Ex-beauty queen, UA law student given 2 years in torture-kidnap case

2010-12-09T12:51:00Z 2010-12-16T18:25:23Z Ex-beauty queen, UA law student given 2 years in torture-kidnap caseBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 09, 2010 12:51 pm  • 

A former UA law school student and beauty queen was sentenced to two years in prison plus six years probation Thursday for her part in the kidnapping and torture of her former boyfriend.

Kumari Fulbright, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault as part of a plea agreement that stipulated the prison sentence.

It was left up to Pima County Superior Court Judge Michael Miller to decide how long she should be on probation following her release.

Defense attorney Steve Sherick asked for 18 months of probation. Prosecutor Michael Jette didn’t specify how long he thought she should be placed on probation, but told Miller she didn’t live up to the terms of her plea agreement and almost had it revoked.

According to prosecutors, Fulbright was dating Joshua Conway in the fall of 2007 when she asked him to sell jewelry she was given by her former boyfriend, Robert Ergonis.

When Ergonis came back into Fulbright’s life, Jette and co-counsel Kim Ortiz said Fulbright lied and told Ergonis Conway had stolen and sold the jewelry.

Fulbright lured Conway to her apartment on Dec. 8, 2007, and Ergonis and David Radde jumped him, the prosecutors said. Another man, Larry Hammond, helped to detain him.

Conway was beaten, cut with a knife and held at gunpoint for hours until he was able to escape.

Fulbright, Radde and Hammond entered deals with the state and agreed to testify against Ergonis at his trial last month.

Ergonis was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated robbery. Jurors acquitted him on a second count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, choosing instead to convict him of a less serious assault charge. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Fulbright told jurors the plan was only for Ergonis to talk Conway into telling them where the jewelry was. 

On Thursday, Jette told Miller Fulbright has done “anything and everything” to protect Ergonis, thus violating her promise to tell the truth on the stand. She also told Radde what he should testify, Jette said.

Conway’s desire to move on with his life is the only reason Fulbright was extended a plea agreement in the first place and it’s the only reason it hasn’t been revoked, Jette said.

Fulbright still hasn’t accepted responsibility for her actions or shown remorse, Jette said.

Sherick told Miller his client’s testimony was truthful and consistent with police statements and defense interviews she’s given. The defense attorney cited Fulbright’s remorse and behavior while on pretrial release and while in jail as reasons for a short term of probation.

Miller ordered Fulbright to pay $15,000 restitution. He also agreed to allow Fulbright to move to Florida when she is released from prison.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

On StarNet: Follow the news and events at Pima County's courthouses in Kim Smith's blog, At the Courthouse, at go.azstarnet.com/courthouse

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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