COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A local man pled guilty to killing a woman in Colorado Springs when he was 15-years-old.
James Papol, now 48, pled guilty to killing Mary Lyn Vialpondo, 24, during a robbery in 1988. Authorities say he stabbed her and left her body in an alley in Old Colorado City.
Papol was charged with the crime in 2018 after DNA technology linked him to the crime with evidence collected at the scene.
Initially, it looked like he would fight the charges by pleading not guilty by way of insanity. However, in a surprise move this month, Papol changed his mind.
This decision offered a small degree of comfort to the family of Vialpondo, who have waited more than 30 years for justice.
"When they told me there was a hit, I was just - I can't even hardly explain it. I was overjoyed really. I mean it's like, oh my goodness finally, because I have waited for this day for such a long time," said Cynthia Renkel, the victim's sister.
According to the terms of his plea, Papol will receive a sentence of between 40 and 60 years in prison.
Despite evidence that suggests he also raped Vialpondo, he will not serve time for that crime due to Colorado's statute of limitations.