Discuss as:

Report: Suspect in Colorado prison chief slaying may have been released too early

Colorado Department of Corrections / Reuters

Evan Spencer Ebel

The man suspected of killing Colorado's corrections chief may have been released from prison four years early because of a clerical mistake, NBC station KUSA of Denver reported late Friday.


KUSA said that court documents released by the state showed that Evan Ebel pleaded guilty to assaulting a prison guard while serving time for breaking into a car, having an illegal gun and carjacking a man. Under his plea agreement, KUSA said, Ebel's four-year term for assaulting the guard should have been served consecutively to the eight-year sentence he had been serving.


But the assault sentence was entered into a computer system as concurrent -- served at the same time, KUSA said. There's still a possibility that a judge changed the sentence, KUSA said:

Although the prosecutor in the Ebel's case does not specifically remember the sentence, he says it was his policy to never offer a concurrent sentence to someone already in prison.

If the judge changed the sentence, it's not reflected in the court minutes.

9Wants to Know is ordering a transcript of the court hearing to see what exactly the judge said during sentencing.

Ebel was freed in Jan. 28 after nearly eight years in prison. 

He 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 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.

A Domino's uniform was found in the car Ebel was driving when he was killed in a shootout with deputies in Texas on March 21.

New documents suggest that the man accused of killing Colorado prisons chief may have been released four years too early from prison. KUSA's Chris Vanderveen reports.