Colorado authorities lost supervisory control of the man suspected of killing the state corrections chief five days before that slaying, according to a chronology released by state officials Tuesday.
In a package of documents outlining the history of supervising Evan Spencer Ebel, state officials acknowledged that the suspected member of a white supremacist gang fell off of the electronic grid on March 14, five days before corrections chief Tom Clements was killed while answering the door at his home. It was also three days before a pizza delivery man was killed in Colorado, a slaying in which Ebel is suspected.
“We have to do better in the future,” Tim Hand, director of the Department of Corrections parole division, told the Associated Press. The interview with the wire service will be the state’s only comment, a spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times by telephone.
Ebel had been considered a good parolee when he was given a mandatory release Jan. 28. From Jan. 29 until March 14, he called in daily, according to the document released by state officials.
As part of the conditions for his release, Ebel was subjected to random urine analysis twice a month and case management meetings, also twice a month, the state said. Ebel also had an electronic ankle bracelet.
But things changed March 14, according to the state chronology.
A “tamper alert,” indicating that Ebel’s ankle bracelet was not working properly was sent that day at 1:54 p.m. The state report notes that Ebel did not call in as required nor did he return a message inquiring about the bracelet.
Ebel still did not call back the next day. “Tamper has not cleared yet,” the March 16 report said.
For several days, Ebel failed to respond to his parole officer’s orders to report. A parole officer visited Ebel’s Commerce City, Colo., home on March 19 and determined he was not there, according to the state chronology.
That was the same day that Clements was shot to death as he opened the door of his home in Monument.
By then, officials were identifying Ebel as an “absconder,” and by March 20 a warrant for his arrest was issued. At that time, officials had not yet linked Ebel to the killing of Clements nor that of the pizza delivery man March 17.
Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities March 21. Authorities linked him to the two killings based on forensic tests and material found in Ebel’s car.