Multiple criminal charges were filed this week against Kevin Wade Folsom in the shooting death of James Box Jr., an Ignacio man whose body was found in the San Juan National Forest east of Dolores.
In Montezuma County District Court on Thursday, 22nd Judicial District Attorney Will Furse filed a first-degree murder charge against Folsom.
Folsom also was charged with possessing of a weapon as a previous offender, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possessing a controlled substance, committing a crime of violence and being a habitual criminal. Folsom initially was arrested by the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of second-degree murder on Jan. 3.
During a court appearance on Jan. 4, District Court Judge Douglas Walker imposed a $500,000 bail on Folsom, who remains in custody at the Montezuma County Detention Center.
On Thursday, Folsom’s defense attorney, Justin Bogan, asked for a lesser amount, arguing that $500,000 was excessive. Walker denied the request but is reviewing a defense request for a gag order.
Folsom of Montezuma County has a history that includes a drug charge, escape attempts, burglary and theft, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections. In 2008, he was charged with first-degree burglary in La Plata County and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released on parole in 2014.
According to a sheriff’s report, the shooting death occurred late Jan. 2 or early Jan. 3 off Forest Road 557, which is a spur of Forest Road 556, known as the Haycamp Road.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said he was informed of the incident from a person who had heard about it.
After a three-hour search in a wooded area, investigators found Box’s body. An investigation identified Folsom as a suspect, and he was pulled over on Jan. 3, then arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder. His truck was impounded.
Folsom, Box and an unidentified person drove to Haycamp Mesa and were partying in an area off Indian Ridge Road, Nowlin said. Drugs are suspected to be involved, Nowlin said.
Box, 42, was a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
According to an obituary in The Durango Herald, Box grew up on the reservation and is the father of two children. Box had a “beautiful singing voice” and knew many traditional Ute songs that he learned from his mother and Ute grandfather, according to his family. He enjoyed participating in traditional Ute practices, including the Bear Dance, and was featured in a movie explaining the ceremony. His Native American name was Buffalo Horse.
The case continues to be investigated, officials said. A preliminary hearing is set for April 6.