Grandfather to protest Jaacob Van Winkle's plea bargain in Cañon City triple murder

CANON CITY, Colo. - A grandfather is planning to go to court Monday to protest a plea bargain being offered in the deaths of his daughter and two of his grandchildren.

Jim Stotler says every day has been hell since March 9 when deputies knocked on his door and said there had been a serious incident.

"At the police station we learned that two of our little grandkids (ages 5 and 9) had been brutally murdered along with our daughter," Stotler wrote in a letter to 7NEWS. "Our oldest granddaughter (16 years old) was able to escape from this monster after being severely tortured for several hours."

"I think part of what makes it so bad is the thoughts of how they were so brutally tortured over a period of time and then literally massacred one at a time, probably as the others were made to watch," Stotler said.

Jaacob Van Winkle was arrested in the death of 35-year-old Mandy Folsom, 9-year-old Marissa and 5-year-old Mason.

He is expected to plead guilty to 36 charges Monday in exchange for a sentence of life in prison, according to our partners at The Denver Post.

Stotler plans to be in court Monday to ask the judge to reject the plea bargain. He wants Van Winkle to get the death penalty.

"I’m sorry but there is no forgiveness coming from me and I can see the death penalty as the only suitable justice, not only for these murders but also because he will likely kill again when given a chance, whether it be in prison or (heaven forbid) if he ever escaped," Stotler said. "Plus we all know a sentence of life in prison seldom means life in prison."

Stotler struggles every day.

"Every day since the day of the murders, has been spent in shock, disbelief, and the slow realization that not only were these precious and very loved people taken away from us so violently and cruelly, but that anyone who knew them would never get over this horrific homicide," Stotler said.

"Our little grandson and granddaughter, along with their mother were so mutilated the coffins were sealed so no one was able to see what was left of them. Nothing is more heartbreaking than being at the funeral and seeing the white caskets of our little grandson and granddaughter lying next to their mothers pink coffin (my daughter Mandy)," Stotler said. "These two little angels were buried side by side with their mother placed in the middle."

The probable cause affidavit in the case was released Friday and obtained by the Pueblo Chieftain.

The newspaper reported that Van Winkle is accused of sexually assaulting the teenage girl who survived the killing spree. The affidavit said the girl escaped when Van Winkle passed out.

Authorities say Van Winkle and the mother had dated and he was living with the family.

The Associated Press reported that Van Winkle was convicted in Indiana of child molestation and other sex crimes involving girls as young as 5 and 7 in 2004. He failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Cañon City and authorities were pursuing him because of that before he was arrested in the killings.

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