Multiple criminal charges were filed Thursday against Kevin Wade Folsom in the shooting death of James Box Jr., 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 bond on Folsom, who remains in custody at the Montezuma County Detention Center.
On Thursday, Folsom’s defense attorney, Justin Bogan, asked for a lesser bond amount, arguing that $500,000 was excessive. Walker denied the bond 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 a 10-year prison term to the Sterling Correctional Facility. He was released on parole in 2014.
According to a sheriff 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 citizen 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.
According to the incident report, Folsom, Box and an unidentified person had driven together 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 from Ignacio and a member of the Southern Ute 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 is Buffalo Horse.
The case continues to be investigated, officials said. A preliminary hearing is set for April 6.