Prosecutors: Bremen teen's killer was "budding serial killer"
Emotion was palpable, visible in the sunken eyes, and heard in the sobs, as the family of 15-year-old Desi Jones, who was raped, killed, and whose body was mutilated, learned of her killer’s fate in a packed, standing-only courtroom.
His sentence of 65 years, not surprising to Jones' family, or to Prosecutor Nelson Chipman who revealed the 21-year-old admitted to having "serial tendencies" during a conversation with an officer over the past month.
Rubio, who raised his eyebrows at his attorney after hearing his sentence, and grinned at the WSBT 22 camera on his way out of court, will be 70 years old before he gets out of prison. That fact, still not settling for the Jones' family.
Her father, Rob Jones, stood up, breaking the courtroom silence, as he grabbed the bench in front of him, and walked to the witness stand to talk about his daughter, Desi.
“What he has done, I don’t think anyone would do to an animal,” said Rob Jones. “To throw a little girl’s body…smash her with a hammer, catch her on fire; I wouldn’t do that to a possum.”
Desi’s mother, Amy, in a purple shirt and shoes, with a matching purple bracelet with Desi’s name on it, told the judge about their final night together.
“Desi was sitting in the kitchen on the computer,” said Jones. “Quiet and content. I let her be. About 9:30, I told her goodnight and went to bed.”
Jones recalled when police told her they found Desi, but she was never able to see her daughter’s body.
“I never got to see the child,” she said through tears. “I was just told that I was to believe it was her. I picked out a casket for this child. We had a service and burial for this child. I never got to see her. I didn’t get to see if that was my child or not.”
Fabian Rubio, 21, was initially charged with murder, sexual misconduct with a minor and abuse of a corpse in Desi's death. Prosecutors were ready for a trial; but in June, Rubio pleaded guilty to the murder charge, while the other two counts were dropped.
Evidence showed Jones was interacting with Rubio on social media until around midnight on December 19, 2014. That next morning, her father reported her missing to police.
A man walking his dog found her body, in a wooded area near her home in Bremen. A coroner later determined she had multiple blunt force trauma to her head and neck, and other injuries stretching to her feet. Court documents revealed Jones’ body was partially burned.
Amy Jones told the judge, “due to what he did to her, I will never have closure. I will always be tortured with unreasonable hope because I didn’t get to see her; as if she’ll come home someday.”
When Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier asked Jones what an appropriate punishment would be for Rubio, Amy Jones told the judge: “Nothing about this is appropriate.”
Rubio to police: ‘show me the evidence’
The prosecution first called a friend of Fabian Rubio’s to the stand on Thursday morning. Napier asked the man about a situation when he and Rubio were together. The man described in detail a “hypothetical situation” that Rubio presented; that if they found someone along the road, would he help him rape and dispose of the body.
The prosecutor asked the man what he thought of that.
“I was shocked,” he said.
Marshall County Officers who responded to the scene also took the stand, recalling what they heard, saw, and who they conducted interviews with in the days and months following the discovery of Desi’s body.
Detective Duane Kulp with the Sheriff’s Department recalled interviewing several witnesses who said Desi planned to meet with Rubio the night she disappeared, so he could buy her cigarettes.
Those witnesses told police that Rubio told Desi to delete the messages.
When police attempted to find those online messages, Kulp said they couldn’t retrieve them. The detective said the messages had been wiped.
What ultimately lead to Rubio’s arrest, however, was an inch-long drip of blood on his license plate that matched Desi's DNA. Detectives also found Jones’ blood on clothing and a hammer inside Rubio’s home.
When detectives confronted Rubio, police said he denied having any sort of relationship with Jones because of their age.
But Pedro Rubio, the 21-year-old’s father, said he remembered seeing Desi on her bike outside their home, which was less than ¼ mile from their home.
“I do not understand why this is happening to good families,” said Pedro Rubio. “He wasn’t the kind of guy looking to kill people, but it happened.”
‘He was a budding serial killer’
After Jones was killed, Rubio was incarcerated at the Marshall County Jail while awaited a trial. While in there, he was charged, and ultimately pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl earlier in 2014.
He was sentenced to 1-8 years in June, 2015.
While incarcerated, he’s had eleven separate incidents related to conduct in the jail. In addition to that, he was kicked out of school, had a juvenile record and violated probation on two separate occasions: “Your conduct can’t conform to the rules of society,” the judge told him.
The defense argued Rubio accepted responsibility by pleading guilty, and saved the Jones’ family from a “gut-wrenching trial.” That comment, met with several people shaking their heads in the courtroom.
But Prosecutor Nelson Chipman discussed chilling remarks that Rubio allegedly made while being transported after the hearing for his guilty plea in the murder case.
“Without a doubt, this case, this murder, was going to be the first of serial murders by Fabian Rubio,” said Chipman. “If he had not been stopped. He was a budding serial killer and got stopped on his first one.”
Chipman said he admitted his “serial tendencies” to an officer while in transport between the courthouse and jail. That evidence couldn’t be used as it happened after the guilty plea.
“There is no question that he is a psychopath sexual predator,” said Chipman. “No question. And he acknowledged that it was good that we stopped him, because he would have done it again.”
The judge sentenced Rubio to 65 years and to pay $9,000 in funeral expenses to Desi Jones’ family.
“Sit there and think,” Rob Jones said to Rubio as he looked him in the eye. “I hope you sit there and dwell on this forever.”