COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (KRDO) — According to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, James Papol was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Wednesday for the 1988 murder of Mary Lynn Vialpando.
“Oh my goodness, I never really gave up hope completely, but it has been a long time and I’m so glad that the day has come,” said Vialpando’s older sister Cynthia Renkel.
Papol pled guilty in February to killing Vialpando. Authorities say he stabbed and brutally raped her before leaving her body in an alley in Old Colorado City.
Former District Attorney Dan May remembers back to the day it happened.
“I was the on-call deputy back in 1988,” said. May. “A Sunday morning I remember vividly. There wasn’t almost any part of her body that wasn’t injured from head to toe.”
According to police, Papol was 15-years-old at the time of the murder. Vialpando was found dead by blunt force trauma.
DNA technology linked him to the crime and he was officially charged with roberry and murder. He was arrested while living at a state hospital in Pueblo.
Investigators report Vialpando was also raped during attack. But because of the time it took to solve the case, the statute of limitations on sexual assault has passed. Prosecutors were unable to charge Papol with rape.
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