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Men who went on spending spree with friend's body sentenced

(Reuters) - Two men who admitted to driving around Denver with their dead friend's corpse and using the dead man's debit card to fund a night at a strip club were sentenced on Thursday to probation, prosecutors said.

Robert Young, 43, and Mark Rubinson, 25, both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of abusing the corpse of Jeffrey Jarrett last August, the Denver District Attorney's Office said in a release.

Young also pleaded guilty to felony identity theft for using Jarrett's credit card.

Neither man was accused of killing Jarrett, who died at 43 from a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol, Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office told Reuters.

Under the plea agreement, Young was given a two-year deferred sentence and must undergo "mental health evaluation and treatment, substance abuse assessment and treatment, and cognitive behavioral therapy," the release said.

He also must submit to random drug and alcohol testing, perform 50 hours of community service and pay $1,289.56 in restitution, in addition to maintaining full-time employment.

Rubinson was given a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to the same drug and alcohol monitoring, therapy and work conditions, and perform 200 hours of community service.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Denver police, Young had contacted Rubinson to say that his roommate, Jarrett, was unresponsive inside the Denver home they shared.

Rather than summon an ambulance, the two men loaded Jarrett into Rubinson's vehicle and went on a spending spree when it was "obvious Jarrett was dead," the affidavit said.

The men then ate at a Mexican restaurant, and fueled up Rubinson's SUV at a convenience store all paid for with Jarrett's debit card, police said.

The men then unloaded Jarrett's body back at his house and visited a Denver-area strip club where they withdrew $400 at an ATM from Jarrett's account. After leaving the club, the men called police to report Jarrett's death.

As conditions of their probationary sentence, both men must write letters of apology to Jarrett's family.

Prosecutor Kandace Gerdes told the judge that the plea deals "were largely the result of the (Jarrett) family's compassion," the district attorney's office said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Dan Burns)

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