Registered sex offender kills mother and two young children before falling asleep in their homeBy Mason White 1:03 PM August 20, 2014
|Jaacob Van Winkle|
By: Aarav Sen
(Scroll down for video) A family is angry that a murderer avoided the death penalty after pleading guilty to a horrific crime he committed.
The convicted sex offender killed his former girlfriend and her two young children in Colorado.
31-year-old Jaacob Van Winkle, pleaded guilty to all 36 charges against him in exchange for a life in prison sentence rather than getting the death penalty.
Van Winkle stabbed 35-year-old Mandy Folsom, her 9-year-old daughter Marissa, and her 5-year-old son Mason, in Canon City.
Her 16-year-old daughter, the sole survivor, managed to escape and ran to a neighbor to get help.
District Attorney Thom LeDoux said that the cost of litigation in a death penalty case was a factor, one of many.
He also said that the decision of Gov. John Hickenlooper in the Nathan Dunlap case played a role in moving his office to accept the plea deal.
Dunlap was scheduled to die for the deaths of four people at a restaurant in Aurora in 1993. However, Hickenlooper granted him a “temporary reprieve,” a decision that probably means Dunlap will not face execution as long as Hickenlooper is governor.
In 2004, Van Winkle was convicted in Indiana, of child molestation and other sexual crimes involving girls as young as 5 and 7 years old. He failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Canon City.
At sentencing, Van Winkle is expected to receive three consecutive life sentences.