ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Shayna Duncan broke down in the aisle of a convenience store when she received the news — the man who had sexually assaulted her three years ago and pushed off his own jail time was now accused of killing a woman.
For years, Duncan, 23, had fought tooth and nail to have him face consequences for his actions and even though he was convicted of sexual contact with no consent, there were delays and motions in the court system that postponed his jail time. And less than a week before he was supposed to turn himself into jail, he allegedly killed a woman.
Jacob Daniel Schadler, 26, was arrested in connection with the homicide on July 27. Early that morning, Adams County deputies found a deceased woman inside a home on Iola Street. A coroner for Adams and Broomfield counties identified the victim as Dominica Jacklyn Quesada, 26, and said her cause and manner of death are pending further investigation. Schadler fled from the scene and was taken into custody following a car crash in Castle Rock later that day.
One of those emails was from Duncan. She had mutual friends with Quesada. And she went to high school with Schadler.
Years after school, Duncan and Schadler reconnected. Duncan, who was 21 at the time, said they planned to catch up and he invited her to his house in September of 2020. She said he pulled a bed into his living room and sexually assaulted her.
She went to the police, he was arrested in October of that year, and a three-years-long case began.
"I was doing everything I could so that what happened to me doesn't happen to another woman," Duncan told Denver7. “What I was trying to avoid was another woman getting hurt.... I actually didn't want to talk about it at all until this woman was murdered. And then I became furious."
She explained that every time Schadler got close to going to trial for the sexual assault case, an excuse came up and it was extended. It was a pattern she called "very painful." She said most of the excuses stemmed from Schadler being sick or anxious, but the COVID-19 pandemic also played a part.
"He was too scared to show up for court and the court accepted it — they would push it off," Duncan said. "It was excruciating."
Then, on Feb. 15, 2023, the sex assault charge, a Class 4 felony, was dismissed and Schadler pleaded guilty to sexual contact with no consent, which is a misdemeanor, according to court documents. He was sentenced on May 11 to 18 months of supervised probation and one of the conditions included 45 days in jail to be served as work release. He was ordered to turn himself into the Adams County Jail by June 30.
"I don't feel like justice was served," Duncan said. “It's hard for me that it ended up with 45 days of jail and a misdemeanor."
Two days before he was due at jail, on June 28, his defense filed a motion requesting a reconsideration of his sentence — specifically, to lower the jail sentence or let him serve it as in-home detention. The defense said Schadler's conviction prohibited him from participating in the work release program and he was "experiencing increased levels of anxiety," the documents read.
The next few days went by and he did not turn himself into the jail on June 30, according to the documents.
In a document from July 13, prosecutors objected to the request for a sentence reconsideration, saying they were concerned about the defendant's unwillingness to comply with the terms of his sentence, the documents read. They added that Schadler had not completed an intake appointment with the probation department, something that he claimed was the result of "various physical and mental health issues preventing him from starting probation," the documents read.
"The Defendant’s failure to start probation means the Defendant is in the community without any supervision and has been for over two months," the prosecution's documents read. "It also means the Defendant is engaging in no treatment."
He was also told to register as a sex offender by May 16, which he completed on June 6, according to the prosecution's response. Because it was a misdemeanor offense, it was not posted on Adams County's website.
In a July 19 document, a District Court Judge Kyle Seedorf denied the defendant's motion asking for a sentence reconsideration.
"As the Court noted at the time of sentencing, Defendant did not indicate he understands the depth or scope of the harm he caused and did not demonstrate acceptance or accountability," the judge's document reads. "Of additional concern, the Response notes Defendant has not complied with other terms of his sentence in the several weeks before he filed the Motion. Except for noting Defendant suffers from anxiety, Defendant has not countered these allegations."
Judge Seedorf set a new remand date, ordering Schadler to turn himself into the Adams County Jail by 5 p.m. on Aug. 2 for the 45-day sentence.
"Within a week of that, he invited a woman over to his house, just like he did with me, and he murdered her," Duncan wrote in her initial email to Denver7 early Wednesday. "This information needs to get out — how he should have been arrested and wasn’t. Please help me get my story out."
Schadler is accused of killing Quesada on July 27 — six days before he was due at jail.
Duncan learned about the homicide while shopping at a Walgreens. The district attorney's office and a victim advocate called her to tell her what had happened.
“My heart dropped and I was like, 'What the hell? What is happening?'" Duncan told Denver7 in an interview Thursday. "And she said, 'Jacob is being charged with a homicide charge.' And I said, 'He killed somebody?' And she said yes. And I said, 'Was it a woman?' And she said, 'Yeah.' And I broke down in the middle of the Walgreens aisle. That was really hard.”
She then learned it was Quesada who had died. While she did not know her personally, they had mutual friends.
"But my heart hurts for her, very much so," Duncan said.
She said she feels like the court system failed her and as a result, she now lives with survivor's guilt. She said if the court process was sped up by just a week, Quesada would still be alive. Forty-five days in jail may not have stopped him, but maybe it would have, she said.
"Something needs to change," she said. "And if maybe we all stand up together, it will change.”
Quesada's family has asked for privacy during this time, according to a statement.
Schadler's next court date in connection with the homicide case is set for Sept. 8.