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Colorado men went on spending spree with dead friend in car

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Two men are accused of driving around Denver with their friend's corpse and using the dead man's debit card to pay for a night on the town, including a visit to a strip club, prosecutors said on Friday.

Mark Rubinson, 25, and Robert Young, 43, are charged with identify theft, criminal impersonation and abusing the corpse of Jeffrey Jarrett, 43, the Denver District Attorney's Office said. The pair are not accused of causing Jarrett's death.

A probable cause statement filed by Denver police said Young telephoned Rubinson on August 27 to say that his roommate Jarrett was unresponsive at the Denver home they shared.

Instead of calling authorities, the men loaded Jarrett's lifeless body into Rubinson's SUV and went on a spending spree when it was "obvious Jarrett was dead," the statement said.

"Rubinson and Young then go to Viva Burrito and purchase food, using Jarrett's credit/debit card to pay for the food," the report said. "They then go to 7-11 ... and purchase fuel for Rubinson's car."

Police said the men then took Jarrett back to his home, and went to a Denver-area strip club where they used the dead man's debit card to withdraw $400, and stayed until closing time.

Finally at 4 a.m., the men finally flagged down a police officer to report Jarrett's death, the report said. When police responded to the house, they "located Jarrett, obviously deceased."

A statement issued by the Denver medical examiner's office on Friday said an autopsy has been performed and authorities were awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause and manner of Jarrett's death.

The friends were arrested on August 28 and formally charged on September 6, Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office, said. Both men are free on bond.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)