Nine parolees sent back to jail, 267 sentences changed after Department of Corrections audit
The Colorado Department of Corrections has just announced the results of an audit intended to determine if any people on parole were mistakenly released early or sentenced incorrectly -- and the numbers aren't exactly reassuring. Nearly 2,000 cases were designated for judicial review, out of 8,000-plus, and of those, 267, well over 10 percent, required changes. In the end, nine onetime offenders were sent back to jail, while two others are missing. Look below for details, including a massive document listing the parolee-by-parolee findings.
Photos and more below.
As we've reported, Ebel, pictured above, was released from prison this past January, despite a staggering number of in-custody offenses. A few short months later, he killed Leon, a father of three, including four-year old twins, possibly for his Domino's pizza jacket, and then Clements, slain at the front door of his Monument home.
In April, the 11th Judicial District admitted that Ebel's sentence was to have run consecutively, keeping him in prison for up to another four years. But the judge in the case didn't specifically say the sentences were supposed to be consecutive, so this edict was never recorded. Hence, as a matter of policy, the Department of Corrections assumed it was concurrent, cutting Ebel free to kill and kill again before he was gunned down in Texas following the shooting of a deputy and an extended car chase.
Katie and Nate.
In a statement acknowledging the botch, Chief Judge Charles M. Barton and District Administrator Walter Blair wrote, "The court regrets this oversight and extends condolences to the families of Mr. Nathan Leon and Mr. Tom Clements."
Afterward, Governor John Hickenlooper, who knew Ebel's father and was a close colleague of Clements, called for an audit of parolees, to make sure other errors involving confusion over consecutive and concurrent sentences hadn't occurred.
Unfortunately, they had, as depicted in the following graphic, from an audit summary obtained by 7News:
As you can see, the records of 8,607 offenders were reviewed, and after a first pass, possible problems cropped up among 3,249 of them. A second review cut that number down to 1,807, all of which were subjected to judicial scrutiny. And plenty of troubles were found.
Continue for more about the Department of Corrections audit, including another graphic, a video and stats for every parolee analyzed.