Bomb-Making Materials Found In Deputy Shooting Suspect’s Car
DECATUR, Texas (AP) — Investigators found bomb-making materials and pants that appeared to have blood on them in the car of a man suspected of killing Colorado’s prisons chief, according to documents made public Tuesday.
Authorities also found maps, handwritten directions and documents from the Department of Corrections in Evan Spencer Ebel’s black Cadillac. Also found were a Domino’s Pizza worker’s shirt and visor, and a pizza carrier bag along with zip ties and duct tape.
Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities last week after a high-speed chase.
Authorities in Decatur, where Ebel’s car crashed before the shootout, sent the items they found to Colorado agencies investigating the death of corrections chief Tom Clements and the slaying of a pizza deliveryman whose body was found two days before Clements was killed.
Investigators haven’t released a motive or commented on Ebel’s ties to a white supremacist prison gang. The documents from Texas authorities detailing what they found in Ebel’s car are not specific enough to shed additional light on the matter.
But Capt. Kevin Benton of the Wise County Sheriff’s Office in Decatur said the handwritten directions that were found would be useful to Colorado authorities’ investigation. He didn’t elaborate.
Also in the car were black powder, a surveillance system, a digital voice recorder, and handwritten documents and letters, according to the documents.
Colorado investigators refused to discuss the evidence.
“We don’t want to speak about their relevancy or what they might mean to our investigation,” said Sgt. Joe Roybal, spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
A week after Clements died after opening his front door, investigators were still trying to determine Ebel’s role in the slayings and whether others were involved. El Paso County authorities said they were able to match the gun Ebel used in the Texas shootout to the one used in Clements’ slaying through microscopic marks left on the shell casings.
Authorities in Denver have said they’re confident that Ebel is linked to the slaying of pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon, 28, a married father of two, but they have not said whether they’ve also been able to link the gun found in Texas to Leon’s slaying.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Leon’s slaying was to procure a pizza box and Domino’s Pizza uniform to help persuade Clements to open his front door, El Paso County authorities said.
In Texas, authorities were trying to find out why Ebel was there and where he was going. After discovering bomb-making materials in his car, a Wise County detective was assigned to help the Texas Rangers investigating the case, Benton said.
“Everybody wants to know where he was headed to and why,” he said.
James Boyd, a deputy in nearby Montague County who was shot by Ebel during a traffic stop before the March 21 chase, was released from the hospital Tuesday and moved to a rehabilitation facility to recover from a severe concussion.
Clements’ funeral was Sunday, and hundreds of law enforcement officers, corrections workers, lawmakers and state dignitaries attended a memorial service for him Monday. Clements was remembered as a prison system reformer with a strong belief in redemption and who worked to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.
Lisa Clements said at the memorial that her husband of 28 years would want justice as well as forgiveness.
Ebel is the son of Hickenlooper’s longtime friend, attorney Jack Ebel. Evan Ebel was on the governor’s mind when he spoke to Clements before offering him the prisons job, citing the younger Ebel’s prison sentence in solitary confinement as an example of needed prison reform.
Hickenlooper has said he did not mention Evan Ebel by name in that conversation, and there was no indication that his relationship with Jack Ebel played a role in the shooting. Hickenlooper also said he did not having any role in Evan Ebel’s parole in January.
Evan Ebel’s time in prison included solitary confinement, which his father testified to lawmakers two years ago was destroying his son’s psyche. While in prison, Ebel was a member of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado, according to law enforcement officials.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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