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Ebel violated parole days before killings

April 3, 2013 at 7:46 AM   |   Comments

DENVER, April 3 (UPI) -- Evan Ebel violated parole conditions days before he killed a pizza delivery man and Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, documents show.

Corrections Department documents released Tuesday indicate that Ebel removed his ankle monitor March 14. Corrections officers, who receive about 800 such alarms a month, didn't follow up quickly despite Ebel being considered violent and posinga high risk, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

Five days elapsed before corrections officers realized Ebel was on the run. It took another day to seek a warrant for his arrest.

By then, pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon and Clements were killed in Colorado and Ebel was fleeing. Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas law enforcement officials.

On Monday, a district court apologized for a clerical error that led to Ebel's release four years early.

The documents indicated corrections officials thought Ebel was complying with parole conditions when he was released Jan. 28 from Sterling Correctional Facility, the Post said. On March 14, however, contractor Behavioral Interventions received a "tamper alert" and notified Ebel's parole officer about the alert March 15.

Ankle bracelets on Colorado inmates sound an alarm an average of 817 times every month because of tampering, equipment errors and false alarms, Corrections Department spokeswoman Alison Morgan said. The state has 1,500 parolees on the alarms.

"There are a myriad of reasons that ankle bracelet alarms go off," Morgan said. "Parole officers decide on a case-by-case basis depending on each parolee. When Ebel was released on parole, he was completely compliant. There were no red flags."

Before Ebel's parole records were made public, Tim Hand, Colorado's parole director, told the Post he stood behind his parole officers.

"People can draw their conclusions on their own about how we managed that particular individual," Hand said. "It's easy to Monday-morning quarterback but I'm going to hold my head high and say this officer and these officers connected to that case did an outstanding job."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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