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Murder victim's family outraged to learn Ebel may have been released early

10:33 AM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - The 9Wants to know investigators expect to learn more Monday about how a mistake was made releasing a suspected murderer from prison years early. 

9NEWS plans to ask The State Judicial office if it knows where the change in sentence was made and whether the state will review other cases to see if mistakes have been made with prisoners still behind bars. 

The parolee accused of killing Colorado prison's chief may have been released as many as four years too early, according to documents obtained by 9Wants to Know.

Evan Ebel is suspected of killing Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements and pizza delivery driver Nate Leon. Ebel died after getting in a shootout with police.

On Thursday, DOC sent 9Wants to Know a breakdown of Ebel's time in prison. It showed Ebel got three years from an Adams County conviction for breaking into a car and having a gun with a scratched off serial number.

Then, Adams County sentenced him to eight years for car-jacking a man, pistol whipping him and breaking into a home.

Those sentences were all supposed to be served at the same time starting in 2005.

Then in 2008, he was sentenced to four years in prison for getting out of handcuffs and punching a prison guard.

This is where the problem appears to have occurred.

Ebel pleaded guilty in that case. The plea agreement clearly says Ebel's sentences must be served consecutively, or in addition to his other sentence.

It was entered into a computer system to show that sentence as concurrent, or served at the same time. Ebel was released after nearly eight years.

Court records show after his eight years, he should have begun serving his additional four years. He was released January 28, 2013. It is not clear at this time how this happened.

"It does not appear as if anyone at the department of corrections made any mistake at all. They honored a sentencing order, signed by the sentencing judge. They had no choice but to do it," 9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson said.

Although the prosecutor in the Ebel's case does not specifically remember the sentence, he says it was his policy to never offer a concurrent sentence to someone already in prison.

If the judge changed the sentence, it's not reflected in the court minutes.

9Wants to Know is ordering a transcript of the court hearing to see what exactly the judge said during sentencing.

Editor's Note: Scott Robinson represented Evan Ebel up until 2005. Robinson has not had contact with Ebel since then.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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