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Woman who bought gun for Colorado killer is sentenced

There would be no trial for Evan Spencer Ebel.

The ex-convict, who was on the run for killing Colorado's prisons chief and a Denver pizza deliveryman, died last March in a shootout with deputies on a Texas highway.

But on Monday, there was punishment for the woman who gave Ebel his gun.

A federal judge in Denver sentenced Stevie Marie Vigil to 27 months in prison and three years of parole for buying a gun for Ebel, 28, a felon previously convicted for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, the Denver Post reported.

Ebel had ended a tumultuous stay in prison (where he committed another assault) just a few weeks before Vigil, 23, gave him a 9-millimeter Smith & Wesson pistol March 8.

Vigil, a childhood friend, said Ebel had asked for a gun to protect himself while he tried to leave his white supremacist gang and get his life together.

But that apparently was not Ebel's real intent: He vanished the day Vigil gave him the gun.

Nine days later, Ebel used the weapon to kill Domino's Pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon, 27, after luring him with a pizza order and forcing him into the trunk of a vehicle and stealing his uniform, according to court records.

Before killing the father of three on March 17, Ebel forced Leon to read a cryptic, ominous statement, which Ebel recorded: "You treated us inhumanely, and so we simply seek to do the same," according to court documents.

Ebel had spent years in solitary confinement during his prison stay, and the message appeared to be directed at Colorado's top prison official, Tom Clements.

Ebel killed Clements on the doorstep of his home near Colorado Springs on March 19, officials said.

The next time Vigil saw Ebel was on a TV news report, after he had wounded a Texas deputy with a shot in the head and embarked on a high-speed chase that ended with Ebel's death, according to court records.

"Oh ... I bought Evan that gun," Vigil said when she saw the news, a friend told investigators. Prosecutors said that Vigil initially lied about buying the gun for Ebel and that she tried to get a friend to lie to investigators about the purchase.

Prosecutors asked for a 72-month sentence, but U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello gave Vigil a far lighter term.

Arguello noted that Ebel had asked other acquaintances for a gun after getting out of prison and would have gotten a weapon eventually, and added that there was no indication Vigil had known about his plans, the Denver Post reported.

"Mr. Ebel was a very bright and intelligent man who was also a sociopath," Arguello said, according to the newspaper.

It was Vigil's first criminal conviction.

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