Back in March, we told you about the arrest of sex offender Jaacob Vanwinkle following the murder of a woman and her two kids in Canon City. The person who led to Vanwinkle's arrest was a sixteen-year-old who he'd allegedly raped.
Now, court documents reveal Vanwinkle's plan to enter a guilty plea on all 36 counts against him in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Continue for details about that development and the crime itself as outlined in a now-unsealed arrest affidavit.
Vanwinkle is included on the Colorado Sex Offender website -- and he's been in trouble with the law elsewhere as well. He's said to have been convicted of "child molesting and vicarious sexual gratification" in Indiana circa 2004, with more time added for the same offense in 2007.
Cut to September 2011. As we reported, Vanwinkle was brought in for questioning in Johnson County, Indiana, after his roommate, fifty-year-old Michael Eaton, was reported missing. Police subsequently found Eaton's body under debris in the bedroom of a residence the pair shared. Vanwinkle was captured in a wooded area, having rabbited in part because he was in violation of his parole agreement at the time.
Here's a mug shot of Vanwinkle that accompanied news reports of his 2011 arrest. His neck tattoo reads: "I am what I am."
In the end, Vanwinkle wasn't charged with Eaton's murder -- and earlier this year, he found himself in Canon City.
The horror that followed is recounted by the Canon City Daily Record based on the aforementioned affidavit.
At 8:10 p.m. on March 9, according to the document, the Canon City Police Department received a phone call from the sixteen-year-old. She told the operator she'd been raped and members of her family were "tied up in the garage" at their home, on the 1100 block of Phay Avenue.
CCPD cops, supplemented by law enforcers from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, rushed to the scene and set up a perimeter. But when they got into the garage, no one was there.
At that point, five officers entered the house and found Vanwinkle in a bedroom on the home's second floor. The teen later told police that after Vanwinkle had sexually assaulted her a second time, he took some of her mom's pills and lost consciousness, allowing her to go to a neighbor's house and call for help.
Meanwhile, responders discovered three bodies in a bedroom downstairs: Mandy Folsom, 35, and two of her kids: Marissa, age nine, and Mason, five.
The Daily Record notes a subsequent coroner's report revealing the causes of death for all three as "multiple incised wounds" presumably created by a knife.
Now, however, the denials appear to be at an end. Vanwinkle's attorneys have reportedly filed paperwork stating that "the defendant, through counsel, has informed the district attorney of his desire to waive the preliminary hearing and to enter a guilty plea to the charges as filed."
The accusations include fourteen first-degree murder counts, six sexual-assault allegations, two apiece for child abuse resulting in death and second-degree kidnapping, three variations of sexual assault on a child, and one each regarding first-degree assault and unlawful sexual contact.
Look below to see Vanwinkle's latest booking photo, plus a report from Colorado Springs' KRDO-TV after the March incident and another package following his 2011 capture in Indiana.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa March 10: "Jaacob Vanwinkle, sex offender, busted in murder of Canon City mom, two kids."