An arrest affidavit provides details about an alleged slaying that took place on Haycamp Mesa east of Dolores in early January.
Kevin Wade Folsom, 39, was arrested on Jan. 3 and later charged with first-degree murder in the death of James Box Jr., 42, a Southern Ute tribal member from Ignacio.
Previously, Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said he was alerted to the shooting death on Jan. 3 by a resident who said he had heard about it.
Folsom was pulled over and arrested, and deputies later found the body after a ground search off Forest Road 557, a spur of the Haycamp Road in the San Juan National Forest.
Box had been fatally shot in the head.
According to court records, Folsom, Box and Box’s wife had driven together to Haycamp Mesa and were partying in an area by Indian Ridge Road. Methamphetamine use was involved, according to reports.
According to an arrest affidavit by sheriffs’ Detective Tyson Cox, Folsom reportedly left the scene of the death, then allegedly attempted to make arrangements with someone to “dispose” of Box’s body. The victim’s clothing had been removed.
In an interview with detective Cox, “Folsom admitted to shooting James Box Jr.,” according to the affidavit but said that Box had already been shot.
The report states that according to Folsom, the three had gone to Haycamp to party and use meth. Folsom said he heard a gun go off during a physical fight between Box and his wife.
Folsom said he did not know who had the gun or who had brought it, but he said he observed Box “bleeding profusely.” Folsom said he picked up the gun off the ground and shot Box in the head “to put him out of his misery,” according to the affidavit.
When asked why he did not call 911, Folsom said he did not want to get arrested for the drugs and shooting and did not believe Box would survive that long because he had lost a lot of blood.
The Journal has not yet confirmed that Box had suffered another wound beside being shot.
On Wednesday, Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers said he could not release information about how many wounds there were until Box’s autopsy was received and released, which is expected soon.
Nowlin said he could not comment on the question of a second wound because of the pending court case.
Folsom was originally charged with second-degree murder, but 22nd Judicial District Attorney Will Furse changed to the charge first-degree murder. A protection order was issued for the person who reported the crime and for Box’s wife.
Folsom was also charged with possessing 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 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 a 10-year prison term to the Sterling Correctional Facility. He was released on parole in 2014.
During a court appearance on Jan. 4, District Court Judge Douglas Walker imposed a $500,000 bond on Folsom. He remains in custody at the Montezuma County Detention Center.
A preliminary hearing in the case is set for April 6. Walker denied a media gag order on the case requested by the defense.