A 16-year-old Jacob Ind is pictured during his murder trial in 1994.

File photo

More than 25 years after the murders of his mother and stepfather in Woodland Park, a youthful killer will learn Thursday if he walks from prison a free man.

Jacob Patrick Ind, who was 15 at the time of the Dec. 17, 1992, killings of Kermode and Pamela Jordan, is due to be resentenced at 1:30 p.m. in Cripple Creek under a plea bargain that could secure his release.

Whether he is freed soon, or years from now, is up to 4th Judicial District Judge Lin Billings Vela. If the judge accepts the terms of Ind’s plea agreement, as expected, she must impose between 32 and 72 years in prison.

Because Ind will receive credit for time served, the minimal sentence would mean his immediate release, prosecutors have conceded. Even if Ind receives a sentence at the higher end, he will eventually be eligible for parole, legal observers say.

Wife of convicted Woodland Park killer Jacob Ind: 'He's not a monster'

The resentencing is a watershed moment for Ind, 41, who has long argued that the killings were in self-defense for physical and sexual abuse by both parents. In pleading guilty last month, he said he wanted to end “a lifetime of torture and abuse and despair.”

“I thought I was stuck,” Ind told the court, admitting that he hired a classmate to kill his parents as they slept.

When that accomplice, Gabriel Adams, 18, botched what was supposed to be a stealthy attack in the couple’s bedroom, Ind joined in and finished the job, using his stepfather’s .357-caliber gun to fire the fatal bullets.

A jury rejected Ind’s so-called “battered child” defense at a closely watched trial in 1994, finding him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. Convicted as an adult, Ind was sentenced to two life terms in prison, without the chance of parole, turning him into a symbol of Colorado’s severe treatment of youthful killers.

Ind’s shot at a reprieve came in October 2017, when a judge set aside his life sentence and ordered that he receive a new trial. The ruling by Denver District Court Judge Jane Tidball came after she concluded that one of Ind’s attorneys improperly blocked him from taking the stand in his defense.

That attorney, Shaun Kaufman, previously told The Gazette he didn’t believe Ind would be a sympathetic witness because of his lack of emotion over the killings. Kaufman had his law license suspended days after the judge’s finding for unrelated violations.

Adams was convicted at a separate trial and sentenced to life in prison. He committed suicide in prison in 2014.

In crafting a sentence, Billings Vela is likely to factor in Ind’s good behavior in prison.

He has worked in the Correctional Industries sewing shop and received a doctorate in biblical studies and a paralegal certificate. A recent psychiatric evaluation concluded “there is no evidence Jacob Ind poses a current, foreseeable, ongoing risk of violence for the community,” his attorney told the newspaper.


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