A man linked to a white supremacist gang has been apprehended in Colorado and will be questioned in the shooting death of the state’s prisons chief, officials said Friday.
James Lohr, 47, was taken into custody in Colorado Springs on Friday and turned over to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Jeff Kramer told the Los Angeles Times. Lohr is being held on three outstanding misdemeanor warrants stemming from events unrelated to the shooting of Colorado Corrections Director Tom Clements, the sheriff’s spokesman said by telephone.
Lohr, who was captured after a short chase on foot, is a known associate of a racist prison gang known as the 211 Crew, the same group linked to Evan Ebel, the man believed to have shot Clements when the prison chief opened the door to his home in Monument, Colo., on March 19.
Still being sought is another gang associate, Thomas Guolee, 31, who is wanted on an outstanding felony warrant, Kramer said. Neither Lohr nor Guolee have been called suspects in Clements' death, but their names surfaced during the investigation, Kramer said.
Authorities are still working on a time line, said Kramer, but it is believed that they may have had contact with Ebel at some point after he was paroled from prison on Jan. 28. Ebel was being monitored by authorities until March 14 when he apparently was able to remove his ankle bracelet and fled.
That was five days before Clements was killed and three days before the slaying of a Colorado pizza delivery man. Ebel is a suspect in that killing as well because investigators found what are believed to be the deliveryman’s clothes and insulated pizza bag in Ebel’s car.
Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities on March 21.
Ballistics tests have linked Ebel’s gun, found in Texas, to the slaying of Clements, making Ebel the only suspect. But officials are still seeking a motive and other details. They have said they are looking at Ebel’s ties to the 211 Crew.
“Investigators are looking at a lot of different possibilities. We are not stepping out and saying it's a hit or it's not a hit. We're looking at all possible motives,” Kramer said.
Meanwhile, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a review of the state's prison and parole operations amid findings that officials may have made errors in dealing with Ebel, including releasing him too soon from prison and then losing him while on parole.
Hickenlooper said the state will audit inmates' cases to ensure they are serving the correct amount of time and will as the National Institute of Corrections to review the state's parole system.
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