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Travis Forbes pleads guilty to murder of Kenia Monge

6:55 PM, Sep 26, 2011   |    comments
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Police charged 31-year-old Travis Forbes with the first-degree murder of 19-year-old Kenia Monge.

Monge was reported missing April 1 after leaving a Denver nightclub. Police found her body in Weld County on Sept. 7, buried under a cottonwood tree near Keenesburg, about 40 miles from Denver.

9Wants to Know learned Forbes physically took investigators to the crime scene on Sept. 7 and showed them the exact spot where Monge was buried, near Interstate 76 and Weld County Road 53.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Forbes will forego the death penalty but will be sentenced to life in prison without parole. As the judge read the plea agreement, Forbes was sobbing in his chair.

"Travis - why did you do this? What did my girl do to you for you to do this to her? You messed with the wrong person. The demons will haunt you for the rest of your life," Monge's aunt said in court on Monday.

"I want my voice to ring in his ears for the rest of his life," Marylin Lee, another aunt, said.

Forbes was visibly shaken in court while Monge's family spoke one by one.

"I just want to tell [Forbes about] the pain he has caused us. This has been very difficult for me and my family," Monge's mom Maria Lee said Monday.

Forbes took the stand after Monge's family spoke.

"What happened to Kenia was a horrific crime. I will never have words of apology for what I did. It was mistake. I didn't mean to do it. I didn't plan it. I took away...I took a life," Travis Forbes said, weeping on the stand.

Forbes then bent down and put his head on the table in front of him.

"I will spend the rest of my days in prison, and I deserve it. I deserve the punishment I have coming towards me. It will never fill the hole [in] Kenia's family. It will never make things right," Forbes said.

Through uncontrollable tears, Forbes asked for the people that knew him before the murder to "please remember me, not as the monster I became."

In a separate case, Forbes also reportedly pleaded guilty to trying to murder a woman and setting her townhome on fire in July in Fort Collins. Linda Jensen with Larimer County says prosecutors have no comment about the case. Jensen confirmed the hearing is at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a source, Forbes has agreed to serve 48 years after serving his life sentence for Monge's murder in regards to the townhome fire and murder attempt.

"It wasn't until Fort Collins and that police department, and the crime lab that supported them made their case on him, and that he was facing what he was facing up there, did he show really any interest at all in helping [the Monge] family get some closure," Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said. "There were a lot of tears today and I can't tell you how truthful those were or not, but one thing I can tell you is that this family went through a horrible time for five months that they didn't need to go through."

"It's been almost six months having to deal with it every day. Every second of every day. It don't go away when you go to sleep, it don't go away when you go to work, it don't go away when you're shopping at Walmart. Every second you have to deal with that," Tony Lee, Monge's stepfather, said. "Being a Christian you're supposed to exercise forgiveness. I think that's something I'll get to down the road. Not today."

9Wants to Know learned that Forbes confessed to Monge's murder earlier this month and was cooperating with police. Forbes allegedly told investigators the morning Monge disappeared, he dropped off his friend, then Forbes and Monge got into a fight and he killed her.

Monge was last seen with Forbes at a Denver gas station off Speer Boulevard. Earlier that evening, she became separated from her friends after a night of clubbing on Market Street in Denver.

"I would like to talk to the community and thank them for the support that they gave both of these families and I hope they continue giving that support. They need it," Kevin Forbes, Travis' father, said.

"[Forbes' family], for some reason, did something I thought was very strange. They for some reason apologized for his actions. I told them they can't do that. That's unnecessary for you to apologize for the actions of your son. I have no animosity or ill will towards the Forbes family whatsoever," Tony Lee, Monge's stepfather, said.

The family has established the Kenia Monge Benefit Fund. Donations can be made at any First Bank branch.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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