Criminal Justice

Suspect in slaying of Colo. prisons chief released too early; court apologizes for clerical error

The deceased suspect believed to have slain the Colorado prisons superintendent last month before being mortally wounded in a shootout with Texas authorities was supposed to have been serving time for an attack on a jail guard.

But because of a state district court clerical error, what should have been a four-year consecutive sentence was imposed concurrently as Colorado prison officials determined that Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was eligible for release Jan. 28, the Denver Post reports.

In addition to being suspected of shooting Tom Clements to death March 19 as the prisons chief opened the door of his home, Ebel has also been tied to the slaying about two days earlier of Nathan Leon, a pizza delivery driver in the Denver area.

“Because the judge did not expressly state that the sentence was consecutive, the court judicial assistant did not include that term in the mittimus, the sentence order that went to the Department of Corrections,” explained 11th Judicial District Administrator Walter Blair in a written statement. “The court regrets this oversight and extends condolences to the families of Mr. Nathan Leon and Mr. Tom Clements.”

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