(Update March 22, 2013)
According to several news sources, including CNN, a suspect in the murder of Tom Clements, the Executive Director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections, has been identified as Evan Spencer Ebel, described as a member of the white-supremacist prison group, 211. Ebel, a recent parolee, led Montague County, Texas deputies on a high speed chase after shooting a deputy during a routine traffic stop there. Several Texas police officers pursued the suspect’s vehicle into Wise County where Ebel crashed his vehicle into a large truck. Exiting from a black Cadillac similar to a vehicle described as being in the area of Clements' home around the time of his murder, Ebel fired at police officers, who returned fire, mortally wounding him. Sources say that Ebel died on Thursday night at a near-by hospital. Colorado police are also investigating to determine if there is a connection between Ebel and the murder of Colorado pizza delivery man, Nathan Leon, 27, who was reported missing on March 17. Leon’s body was later found shot to death. It is believed that a Domino’s Pizza shirt and an empty pizza box that were found in the Cadillac that Ebel was driving were used by Ebel as a ruse to get Clements to open the door to his home.
Source: Denver Post
Original article posted on March-20-2013
Just months after the mass murder of theater goers in Aurora, Colorado, the state is faced with another shocking tragedy. Tom Clements, the Executive Director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections, was reportedly murdered when he opened the door to his home just past 8:30 p.m. last night. Details are still sketchy, but a massive manhunt is underway to find the Director’s killer.
Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper, who appointed Clements to his position in 2011, is said to be shocked by the murder. Several sources released the contents of a letter that Hickenlooper sent to grieving employees of the state’s Department of Corrections. The letter stated:
"Last night, Tom Clements was killed at his home in Monument. I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it.
As your Executive Director, he helped change and improve DOC in two years more than most people could do in eight years. He was unfailingly kind and thoughtful, and sought the "good" in any situation. As you all know, in corrections that is not easy.
We have no more details than that. I am so sad. I have never worked with a better person than Tom, and I can't imagine our team without him.
Tom regularly spoke of your professionalism and dedication to the department. It is during times like this that we must stand together to meet the Department's public safety mission and to honor Tom's memory.
I know that you all join me in sending prayers and support to Tom's wife, Lisa, their two daughters and their family. For the next few days, please allow them to grieve with their family in private."
With all our heart,
The murder comes just as Hickenlooper is set to sign tougher gun control laws today.
Reentry Central will provide updates on this tragic story as they become available.
Sources: Denver Post and KOAA Television