Mike McLelland second Texas prosecutor killed in two months: Tom Clements murder link?
The investigation into Evan Ebel, the man thought to have gunned down pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements, has taken another bizarre twist in a continuing series of them. On Saturday, Texas prosecutor Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were murdered -- and authorities are now looking into the possibility of a link between Ebel's shocking acts, the most recent slayings and the assassination of another Texas prosecutor in January. Details, photos and videos below.
Big photos below.
At first blush, a connection seems unlikely. After all, Ebel is dead, having been gunned down after shooting a deputy and leading authorities on a wild car chase that ended with him being shot in the head; he only lived long enough afterward for his organs to be harvested.
Then again, these last events took place in Texas -- and the weaponry and bomb-making equipment found afterward in Ebel's 1991 Cadillac suggests at least the possibility that he had other crimes planned.
Evan Ebel's Cadillac.
Moreover, the Denver Post has floated the theory that Clements's killing may have been the equivalent of a hit placed on him by the 211 prison gang, of which Ebel is said to have been a member. The suggested reason: retribution for transferring leaders in an effort to dilute the strength of the group.
Afterward, the Department of Corrections put out a statement decrying this hypothesis. Wrote spokesperson Alison Morgan:
No one from the DOC would comment on the shuffling of specific inmates or groups of inmates at CDOC because it would endanger our staff and inmates. That being said, inmates are shuffled through our prison system constantly for a myriad of reasons -- classification (behavior) progressing or regressing, program needs, security needs, etc. As evidence to this point, 25 person of our inmate population is shuffled over the course of a year. It is irresponsible for the Denver Post to issue the report regarding our tactics of shuffling the 211 security threat in an effort to jar their organization.However, Deputy Joe Roybal, speaking for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, confirmed to ABC News that the slayings of the McLellands and Mark Hasse, killed in January, are definitely on the EPCSO's radar. An excerpt from the ABC News report:
After Clements' murder, authorities in Colorado had made contact with Texas investigators to look for possible links between his murder and that of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse....What led to the deaths of the Texas trio?
Joe Roybal, a deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado, said investigators had laid off of the case for a while, but re-contacted their counterparts in Texas after they heard about McLelland's murder.
Continue for more about a possible connection between murders in Colorado and Texas, featuring photos and videos.