Monday, April 1, 2013

Clerical error set Colorado slaying suspect free nearly 4 years early

Colo. Dept. Of Corrections / AP, file
This undated photo released by the Colorado Department of Corrections shows paroled inmate Evan Spencer Ebel.

If it weren't for a clerical error, Colorado's state prisons chief might still be alive today.
Court officials acknowledged in a statement Monday that a processing error allowed the now-dead ex-con Evan Spencer Ebel to be released January 28 — four years before he was supposed to be.
Ebel is suspected of killing Tom Clements, executive director of the state Department of Corrections, on March 19. Clements was shot dead apparently after answering the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs.
Ebel was later killed on March 21 in a shootout with cops in Texas after a car chase. The bullets he used then matched those used in the Clements killing, officials have said.
But Ebel shouldn't have been a free man in the first place.
In 2008, Ebel pleaded guilty to assaulting a prison guard while serving time for breaking into a car, having an illegal gun and carjacking a man. His four-year sentence was supposed to have been served "consecutively" after the the eight-year sentence he had been serving.
But a court clerk entered the sentence as "concurrent" to the one he was serving, which led to Ebel's January release, Colorado Department of Corrections officials said Monday.
Ebel is also suspected in the March 17 killing of a Domino’s pizza delivery man outside Denver. Authorities have speculated that Ebel used the man's uniform to get Clements to come to the door. Following the deadly shootout in Texas, a Domino's uniform was found in the car Ebel was driving.
Denver NBC station KUSA first reported on Friday that Ebel may have been released too early.

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