Woman who bought gun used to kill prison chief pleads guilty to giving a firearm to felon, Evan Ebel
Last Updated: 46 days ago
DENVER - The woman who bought the gun used to kill Colorado's prisons chief and a Denver man has pleaded guilty.
Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, of Commerce City, pleaded guilty in Denver federal court Tuesday afternoon to knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, Evan Ebel.
Ebel is the only suspect in the March 19 slaying of corrections chief Tom Clements and the killing of Denver computer technician and pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon two days earlier. Ebel was killed days later during a car chase and shootout with Texas law enforcement officers.
Even though there's no plea deal, a guilty plea could help Vigil gain a lighter sentence. She faces up to 10 years in prison when she's sentence Jan. 16.
"As this horrifying case starkly highlights, purchasing a firearm for a felon can and likely will result in tragedy," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh said. "For that reason, acting as a 'straw purchaser' of guns is also a grave federal felony, one that this office will prosecute to the full extent of the law.
"The defendant here has admitted her guilt to committing this crime, a crime that led directly to the murder of an innocent pizza delivery driver, Nate Leon, and the Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements," Walsh said.
The conviction resulted from a joint federal and state investigation involving multiple agencies, including: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the Denver Police Department, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, the Wise County, Texas Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Colorado Department of Corrections.
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