Colorado Gunman Released 4 Years Early by Mistake
Court blames clerical error for Evan Ebel's release
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2013 6:10 PM CDT
This undated file photo released by the Colorado Department of Corrections shows paroled inmate Evan Spencer Ebel.   (AP Photo/Colorado Department of Corrections, File)

(Newser) – A clerical error allowed the man suspected of killing Colorado's prisons chief to be released from custody about four years early, officials said today. In 2008, Evan Ebel pleaded guilty to assaulting a prison guard in a court in rural Fremont County. He was to be sentenced to four additional years in prison, to be served after he completed the eight-year sentence that put him behind bars in 2008, according to a statement from the 11th Judicial District.

However, the court clerk failed to note after the plea that the sentence was supposed to be served "consecutively," or after, Ebel's current one. So the legal system recorded it as one to be served "concurrently," or at the same time. So on Jan. 28, prisons officials saw that Ebel had finished his court-ordered sentence and had no option but to release him. Two months later he was dead after a shootout with authorities in Texas. The gun he used was the same used to shoot prisons chief Tom Clements, and police believe Ebel was involved in the death of a Domino's delivery man, Nathan Leon, in Denver.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Apr 3, 2013 12:15 PM CDT
Heil, Heil the NRA!
Apr 2, 2013 4:04 AM CDT
What am I missing? He killed someone and got an extra 4 years? Shouldn't that be 40 years? It's not like he stole a pizza here.
Apr 1, 2013 8:36 PM CDT
How can such a clerical error even happen ? A complete review needs to be done on Colorado's booking/release system.