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April 4, 2013

Colorado governor orders audit of inmate records

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado's governor announced a sweeping review of the state's prison and parole operations on Thursday as more evidence piled up showing how a white supremacist gang member slipped through the cracks in the criminal justice system to become a suspect in the killing of the state's prisons chief.

Evan Ebel was released from prison four years early due to a clerical error, and violated his parole terms five days before the death of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.

Officials said the state will now audit inmates' legal cases to ensure they are serving the correct amount of time. They also will ask the National Institute of Corrections to review the state's parole system, which is struggling under large caseloads.

The announcement came as authorities said they were looking for two other members of Evan Ebel's white supremacist prison gang in the first official word that the 211 Crew might be involved. Authorities said the two men were not suspects but "persons of interest" in Clements' death.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Clements' killing was an isolated attack or done at the direction of top members of the 211 Crew.

It was amid that backdrop that state officials announced the audit at a news conference here, just south of the forested neighborhood where Clements was shot to death when he answered the front door of his house the night of March 19.

Five days earlier, parole records show, Ebel slipped his ankle bracelet, then stopped his required daily reports into the state parole system. Police believe he also had been involved with the killing of a pizza delivery man two days before. The state did not issue a warrant for his arrest on parole violations until March 20. Ebel died after a March 21 shootout with Texas authorities.

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