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Gabrial Adams, serving life, found dead in prison for mentally ill

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Gabrial Adams.
Gabrial Adams, a 38-year-old inmate serving life without parole for his role in a headline-grabbing double-murder committed when he was a teenager, was found dead in his cell on March 9. Although autopsy results have not yet been released and the Colorado Department of Corrections is offering little information about the death, Adams -- who had a history of suicide attempts -- reportedly hanged himself in the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, which houses many of the prison system's most severely mentally ill inmates.

Adams was seventeen in 1992, when he joined fellow Woodland Park teen Jacob Ind in a bizarre plot to kill Ind's mother and stepfather. As detailed in our 1998 feature "The Killer and Mrs. Johnson," Ind claimed to have been physically and sexually abused by his parents for years and to have hired Adams, a purported martial arts expert, to carry out their murders.

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Jacob Ind claimed he hired Gabriel Adams to kill his mother and stepfather.
The two co-defendants told somewhat different stories about who carried out what actions the night Kermode and Pamela Jordan were shot to death in their upscale home, but both were tried as adults and received life sentences.

Pendulum Foundation director Mary Ellen Johnson's book about the case, The Murder of Jacob, describes Adams as a short, slight, delusional adolescent who "believed himself to be a reincarnated Vietnam War vet" and preferred to be called "Major." As she wrote, "Major even claimed he knew how to levitate, ninja-style."

Following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring mandatory life sentences unconstitutional for offenders who committed their crimes when they were juveniles, Colorado's 51 juvie lifers have been awaiting a chance to argue for reduced time at individual sentencing hearings. But those hearings didn't come soon enough for Adams, who has struggled with mental illness throughout his prison sentence.

Barb Stephenson, a board member of the Colorado chapter of the prison family-rights group CURE and the national chapter of an organization that seeks reforms in incarceration of the mentally ill, says that Adams was transferred to San Carlos in 2011 after a suicide attempt at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility. She corresponded with him and tried to serve as an advocate, she adds, but Adams imposed too many unreasonable conditions for her to even visit him.

"Gabrial did not talk about his diagnosis," Stephenson says. "He did not talk about his treatment. He was a very paranoid person. He refused visitors, and I could tell he was not in touch with reality."

The state prison system averages four to seven suicides a year. A DOC spokesman referred inquiries about the death to the Pueblo County coroner, stating only that "Mr. Adams was no longer in CDOC custody as of March 9, 2014."

From our Colorado Crimes archives: Read Alan Prendergast's "Joe Arridy was the happiest man on death row."


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11 comments
Werd Flood
Werd Flood

how in the shit did you write all of this!? hbahaha

Jay Haven
Jay Haven

Looks like this is a who gives a shit post westword... And I to would like to congratulate the first commenter.... It's a monumental moment, well done

Patrick Layman
Patrick Layman

Matt, thank you and I cannot overstate the happiness I feel. In short, joy to the world!!! Karen, up your nose with a rubber hose.

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Patrick Layman I'm just so happy to be part of this amazing experience with you. Hopefully, you have many more first comments in your future matched with the overjoying feeling that that privilege has to offer. Can't wait for the after party at Chuckie Cheese and again, congratulations on this momentous occasion!

Patrick Layman
Patrick Layman

I feel so honored to be the first comment. All of my hard work and dedication has paid off. Getting the top comment has been a dream of mine for many years, and i would like to thank those who have helped me along the way. First and foremost i would like to thank god for giving me this opportunity. Next i would like to thank my parents. I want to thank my friend Josh Arcaro, for being really skinny and always there for me. I would also like to thank my pet tadpole for surviving against all odds for over a week. Next i would like to thank the squirrel that lives in my backyard for climbing trees because that gives me inspiration that i need to get through the day. This is a special moment in my life and i would like to thank any of my unmentioned friends and family that have helped me along the way. This moment will be a moment that i will never forget. I just remembered a few other people i would like to thank; facebook, the fish i caught in the third grade, my light in my room bc i wouldn’t be able to see the keyboard without it, the internet for letting me go on facebook, my house because without it i would be homeless, and last but not least i would like to thank all the people out there that actually took time out of their day to read this. I cannot stress how much of a big deal to me this is. I have been trying to be the first comment on a post for years, but that has not been possible until this amazing day. Hopefully my good luck will continue, but this is undoubtedly a rare occasion. If you asked me how i did this, i would say, you can achieve anything u set your mind on. To all the kids out there reading this, i would like to tell them to follow their dreams. Being the top comment is amazing, thank you everyone

reagan09
reagan09

You are an inspiration to us all, Patrick. Live long and prosper.

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