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Arizona beauty queen accused of kidnapping

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeTheftLaws and LegislationKidnappingTrials and ArbitrationJustice System

A law school student and former beauty queen who has posed for a racy calendar while brandishing a weapon has been accused of kidnapping, biting and threatening a former boyfriend with a handgun.

Kumari Fulbright, 25, who is midway through her second year in law school, faces a long prison term if convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault.

Fulbright, who competed for the Miss Arizona title in 2005 and 2006, recently completed a semester-long unpaid stint clerking for a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins, his office said. She also poses wearing a shiny black bikini in a 2008 calendar that features women holding guns.

In the Dec. 18 indictment, Fulbright is accused of holding and torturing her 24-year-old ex-boyfriend in early December with the help of three other men, including another man she had previously dated.

Authorities think the dispute began because the ex-boyfriend was believed to have stolen jewlery given to Fulbright by the former beau suspected of helping in the attack.

Fulbright invited the man to her apartment, then excused herself to shower, said police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco. Then two men showed up and bound him with plastic ties and duct tape, accused him of taking the jewelry, and threatened to shoot him with pistols, Pacheco said.

When Fulbright finished her shower, she allegedly bit the man on his forearm, right hand and ear, held a butcher knife to his head, and told him she was going to kill him.

Authorities said the man was taken to another home, where the assault continued, then took him back to Fulbright's house, where she guarded him with a gun.

The man finally managed to free a hand and grabbed the gun, which discharged but hit no one, authorities said. As their struggle spilled outside, the man screamed for help, then ran to a home down the block, while Fulbright returned to her apartment, Pacheo said.

"He has some bite marks on him, evident and consistent with his account, and his hands were red and swollen, consistent with someone who had been tied up," Pacheco said.

A police complaint said the suspects stole the victim's wallet, money clip with $500 to $600, and his cell phone and briefcase.

Fulbright's phone is out of service and her apartment was unoccupied Wednesday, without any furniture. Efforts also were made to contact her through MySpace.com.

Tucson police also are seeking to serve her former boyfriend, Robert Ergonis, 44, and his brother, Michael Ergonis, 46, with arrest warrants charging them with kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated assault, but believe they may have fled the country. Telephone numbers for the brothers were not listed.

Another man who was indicted with Fulbright remains jailed under $50,000 bond, but Fulbright was freed after arranging to have a similar bond posted.

Calls to Fulbright's attorney, Thomas Hartzell, and to the Miss Pima County pageant, which Fulbright won in 2005, were not returned. She also was selected Miss Desert Sun in 2006.

A spokeswoman for the University of Arizona, where Fulbright attends, said it was premature to talk about what could occur in terms of discipline. She and other faculty members declined further comment, citing student privacy.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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