Charges filed in killing of mother, daughters

CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Prosecutors filed murder, sexual assault and other charges Thursday against a convicted sex offender accused of killing a woman and two of her children in southern Colorado.

Jaacob Vanwinkle, 31, is also accused of sexually assaulting the woman’s teenage daughter in the March 9 attacks in Canon City. She escaped the home and survived.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported (http://tinyurl.com/oupee3e) the charges include first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, sexual assault, sexual assault on a child, unlawful sexual contact and kidnapping.

Vanwinkle also faces charges of committing a crime of violence and being a habitual sexual offender against children, sentence-enhancing counts that could lengthen his sentence if he is convicted.

Vanwinkle and the mother had dated and he was living with the family, authorities said.

The Associated Press isn’t naming the mother or the children to protect the identity of the daughter.

Vanwinkle 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 Canon City, and authorities were trying to find him before he was arrested in the March 9 killings.

After moving from Indiana to Colorado, he was required to register four times a year. He was supposed to report to the sheriff’s office in Fremont County, where Canon City is located, on March 4 but never showed up, Capt. Don Pinover said.

Pinover said the law gives sex offenders a five-day grace period, so a judge would not have signed a warrant until the day after the slayings.

Vanwinkle was also wanted in another Colorado county on suspicion of violating a protection order, Pinover said.


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