Evan Spencer Ebel: Ex-convict suspected of link to Colorado slaying dies in Texas
A parolee being investigated in the killing of Colorado’s prison chief this week has died after a car chase and a shootout with Texas police, law enforcement officials said on Friday.
Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, died Thursday at a Fort Worth hospital of a single gunshot wound to the forehead, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Police said they were investigating the ex-convict from Denver in the Tuesday evening shooting death of Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Clements, 58, was killed after he answered the door at his home in secluded woods near the town of Monument, 45 miles south of Denver.
Police say the car chase that led to Ebel’s killing began after he shot and wounded a Montague County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop and fled.
Ebel had served time in prison in Colorado and investigators were examining any ties he might have had with a prison gang, said Wise County (Texas) Sheriff David Walker, whose deputies were involved in the car chase.
“I do know that he has a lengthy criminal history,” Walker said in Decatur, Texas, where Ebel’s final shootout with police occurred after his car collided with an 18-wheeler truck.
He was driving a Cadillac with Colorado plates.
A Texas police official said Friday the FBI was looking for links between Clements’ death and the execution-style killing in January of Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office. Kaufman County is east of Dallas.
The January 31 murder of Hasse occurred the same day the U.S. Department of Justice revealed the county district attorney’s office was among the agencies involved in a racketeering case against the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist group.
“The Dallas and Denver offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are comparing the homicides of Mark Hasse and Tom Clements to determine if there is any evidence linking the two crimes,” Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said in a statement.
The Denver Post reported on Thursday that Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang, the 211s, and had been paroled in the Denver area.
Ebel was charged in robbery and weapons cases in 2004, said Denver criminal defense lawyer Scott Robinson.
(Reporting by Jim Forsyth, Corrie MacLaggan, Alex Dobuzinskis, Dan Whitcomb and Keith Coffman; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Doina Chiacu)