7NEWS confirms Evan Ebel should have served consecutive sentences

Ebel suspected in 2 murders after January release

DENVER - 7NEWS has confirmed the man accused of killing Colorado's prison chief should still be in prison, based on a plea agreement filed in Fremont County.

7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart talked to District Attorney Thom LeDoux who said he saw the plea agreement that shows Evan Ebel was supposed to serve four additional years in prison, but for some unknown reason that did not happen.

Ebel was released last January.

According to documents obtained by 7NEWS, Ebel served a four-year sentence for assaulting a prison guard "concurrently," which means at the same time he was in prison for other crimes. (Documents at bottom of this story).

However LeDoux told Stewart that the four years should have been served "consecutively," or in addition to his existing 8-year sentence.

As to why the plea agreement wasn't followed -- that was not clear Friday night.

7NEWS asked former Douglas County Judge Jim Miller what may have happened. 

"You may find there was an agreement between the defendant for a consecutive sentence and the judge missed that or for whatever reason didn't impose a consecutive sentence," Miller said.

That will be explained in the court transcripts, not available until Monday. But Miller said if the plea agreement stated a "consecutive" term than it should be reflected. Ultimately, Miller said this may be a mistake made by the clerk and judge.

7NEWS has learned Judge David Thorson oversaw the case.  According to a 2008 Judicial Performance Survey, Thorson received high marks, scoring above average in everything from case management and knowledge of law to overall communications, demeanor and diligence. 

"There's no good explanation, it could be the press of business. If in fact, something's amiss here, it could be the press of business," Miller said. "Maybe you don't look at something as close as you should ... a clerical error."

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections said the agency was following orders on the paperwork given to them. In fact, the area on the paperwork detailing how the sentence should be served was blank.

The man who was Ebel's attorney at the time has since died.

7NEWS also learned the Department of corrections issued an arrest warrant on March 20 -- the day after Colorado prison chief Tom Clements was shot to death at his Monument home but before Ebel was named a suspect in his murder.

Those warrants are often issued when a parolee gets out of his GPS monitoring bracelet.

Ebel was on intensive supervised parole which means not only electronic monitoring but also daily call-ins, a curfew and no driving or drinking alcohol.

Ebel, who was shot in the head during the gunfight in Texas and pronounced dead the next day, had spent nearly eight years in four different Colorado prisons. Records show he had 28 disciplinary violations during his incarceration.

The violations included two fights, ten attempts to incite prison disruptions and three threats. The most serious threat was in 2005, when the report says Ebel told a female guard "he would kill her if he ever saw her on the streets, and that he would make her beg for her life."

Ebel died in a shootout with Texas officers on March 21.  Shell casings from Ebel's handgun matched the casings found at Clements' home, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said.

Other evidence found in Ebel's crashed Cadillac included Domino's Pizza clothes and an insulated Domino's pizza carrier that could link Ebel to the murder of moonlighting pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon on March 17.

 

-- A timeline of Ebel's activities: http://ch7ne.ws/TimelineEbel

 

Evan Ebel's Incarceration History