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James Clanton Pleads Guilty To Killing Helene Pruszynski In Colorado 40 Years Ago

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A man has pleaded guilty in a 40-year-old murder case in Douglas County. On Friday morning, James Clanton pleaded guilty to killing Helene Pruszynski, 21.

James Curtis Clanton
James Curtis Clanton (credit: Douglas County Sheriff)

Pruszynski was found stabbed to death in a field in January 1980. Investigators used DNA technology and genealogy tests to track down Clanton in Florida, who had legally changed his name.

Helene Pruszynski (credit: Douglas County Sheriff)

Clanton, 62, pleaded guilty to first degree murder, which carries a life sentence. However, because of the laws in place in 1980 Clanton can apply for parole after serving for 20 years. He'll be sentenced in April.

COLD CASE GUILTY PLEA 5PKG.transfer_frame_559
(credit: Douglas County)

Bob Scott worked at KHOW Radio with Helene while she was an intern.

"This is 40 years later, this is just amazing, just incredible," said Scott.

Scott met her the day she disappeared.

"Had everything going for her and a few hours after that, she was dead."

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