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Man sentenced for the murder of a young woman in Colorado Springs more than 20 years after the crime

Left: Mary Lynn Vialpando. Middle: Suspect, James Papol.  Right: DNA Phenotyping of the suspect...
Left: Mary Lynn Vialpando. Middle: Suspect, James Papol. Right: DNA Phenotyping of the suspect released before the arrest of Papol.(KKTV)
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 4:46 PM MDT|Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:27 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It was a sentence that came more than 20 years after the crime and following a mistrial.

On Wednesday, a man was sentenced to 60 years for the murder of a woman in Colorado Springs. The crime happened in 1988, and at one point the man behind the heinous attack tried pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. The victim was only 24 years old.

DNA evidence helped investigators connect James Edward Papol to the case years later. Papol was 15 when he attacked Mary Vialpando in an alley. In February, Papol pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated robbery. A psychiatrist deemed Papol was sane during the crime.

There was also evidence that Papol had sexually assaulted Vialpando, according to a crime reconstructor who presented evidence in the courtroom.

In October of 2020, a mistrial had been declared because of concerns tied to COVID-19.

The sister of Vialpando took the stand at the sentencing, stating she was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin and friend.

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