Weeks after receiving a new sentence in a 1992 double-murder that gripped the Pikes Peak region, Jacob Ind has a new shot at freedom — this time before a parole board.
Ind, who was 15 when he participated in a deadly attack on his mother and stepfather in the bedroom of their Woodland Park home, is due for a parole hearing in March, Colorado state prison records show.
Adrienne Jacobson, a spokeswoman, confirmed Ind’s parole-eligibility and upcoming hearing. The date and location will be announced after Ind is reassigned to a prison following his stay at the Teller County jail, where he was held during recent post-conviction proceedings.
The upcoming hearing marks a new chance for Ind to argue for leniency for his role in the Dec. 17, 1992 deaths of Pamela and Kermode Jordan, who were shot, stabbed and hit with bear spray. Ind, who claimed he lashed out after a lifetime of abuse, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder at a closely watched trial in 1994. He was sentenced to two life terms without the chance of parole, all but assuring he would die in prison.
That changed in October 2017, when a judge determined that one of Ind’s attorneys, Shaun Kaufman, blocked him from taking the stand, violating his constitutional right to testify in his defense.
The judge set aside his sentence and ordered that he receive a new trial.
Instead of going before a new jury claiming self-defense, Ind pleaded guilty last November to two counts of second-degree murder. He was re-sentenced Jan. 1 to 60 years in prison.
At the time the new penalty was imposed, it wasn’t clear how long Ind would remain behind bars, given that he has already served 25 years and is eligible to receive credit for good behavior.
Now, an updated inmate record on the Colorado Department of Corrections website shows a mandatory release date of Aug. 17, 2047, and that Ind became parole-eligible effective August 2017.
If he receives the nod for parole on his first attempt, he’d be an exception, observers say.
“Statistically, the DOC is not letting people out on their first meeting with the board,” said Phil Dubois, a Colorado Springs defense attorney who isn’t directly affiliated with the case.
During fiscal year 2017, roughly 70 percent of petitioners for parole were denied and made to apply again later, according to a Colorado Division of Criminal Justice report that looked at more than 5,000 state parole board decisions during that period.
How the board looks at Ind could turn on the strength of his support, and whether there is a public backlash.
If prosecutors recommend against parole, Ind could face an uphill battle, Dubois said.
“The board is a political animal,” he said. “It will not do anything that it thinks will draw a bunch of public approbation.”
It could also be telling that the judge who re-sentenced Ind, Lin Billings Vela, could have picked a sentence that would lead to his immediate release. Instead, she chose a penalty near the top of the 32 to 72 years he faced under his guilty plea — a decision that could have influence on the thinking of Ind’s parole board.
Ind’s co-defendant, Gabriel Adams, then 18, was likewise convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison. He committed suicide at a state psychiatric hospital in 2014.
This story has been updated to clarify the reason that Ind's parole hearing date wasn't available.