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March 29, 2013

Troubled prison time for Colorado suspect

DENVER — The man suspected in the death of Colorado’s prisons chief threatened to kill a guard while he was in prison, the beginning of a long history of misconduct behind bars, according to his prison record released to The Associated Press on Thursday after an open records request.

Within nine months of entering prison in 2005, Evan Spencer Ebel misbehaved so badly that he was placed in solitary confinement, the documents show. He spent much time there because of continued threats and attacks against prison workers and other inmates.

Ebel had a swastika tattooed on his body, joined a white supremacist gang and was nicknamed “Evil Ebel.”

Ebel, 28, died last week after a shootout with Texas authorities. Authorities are investigating whether he’s linked to the death of Tom Clements, the director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, who was shot and killed at his home March 19, and the killing of a pizza deliveryman two days earlier.

According to his prison record, Ebel got into a fight within a day of arriving at his first permanent prison in 2005. Six months later, he told a female guard “that he would kill her if he ever saw her on the streets, and that he would make her beg for her life,” according to the record.

Shortly after that, he was placed in solitary confinement.

Ebel was enrolled in two programs aimed at helping prisoners get out of solitary, but he was kicked out both times because of disciplinary problems. The most recent attempt came in October 2011 when Ebel joined the “Thinking for a Change” program.

Ebel was in solitary confinement when he was released from Sterling Correctional Facility on Jan. 28, his mandatory parole date under the law.

His records flagged him as very high risk, with a high chance of re-offending.

It’s not clear what he did between his release and his death last week in the shootout in Texas.

The gun Ebel used in the shootout was matched to the one used to kill Clements.

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