Colorado prosecutors have obtained a responsible plea in a younger girl’s 1980 rape and homicide — a cold case they cracked simply two months in the past by means of DNA and genetic family tree.
Truck driver James Curtis Clanton, 62, was in courtroom Friday for a listening to when he agreed to plead guilty to killing 21-year-old Helene Pruszynski in Englewood on Jan. 16, 1980.
“Because of the unrelenting and outstanding efforts of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and United Data Connect, the resolution of a horrible sexual assault and murder in a desolate part of our county four decades ago ended within 15 minutes inside a courtroom this morning,” Douglas County District Lawyer George Brauchler stated in a information launch.
Clanton was arrested Dec. 16, accused of abducting Pruszynski after she bought off a bus after which dumping her physique in a vacant lot after sexually assaulting and killing her. She had simply moved to Colorado from Massachusetts to work as a journalism intern at a radio station.
Clanton was linked to the homicide after investigators uploaded crime scene DNA to the general public family tree web site GEDMatch.
Clanton faces a compulsory sentence of life in jail in April. He’s eligible for parole after 20 years. He confronted the demise penalty if the case had gone to trial.
“At his age, if you asked me to guess, I’d say I don’t expect him to make parole,” Brauchler stated, in keeping with the Highlands Ranch Herald.
The paper quoted Sgt. Atilla Denes of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Workplace as saying that Clanton opened up concerning the homicide and expressed regret as they had been flying to Colorado from Florida, the place he lived and was arrested.
“He said that he felt that he had received many more years of freedom than he deserved,” Denes stated.