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Bomb materials linked to suspect in killing of prisons chief

March 26, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • Court records show police recovered bomb-making materials and bloody clothing from the trunk of a car belonging to Evan Ebel, 28, who died after a shootout in Texas on Thursday.
Court records show police recovered bomb-making materials and bloody… (Joe Duty / Wise County Messenger )

The man accused of killing Colorado's prisons chief had bomb-making materials in his trunk when he got into a highway shootout in Texas, according to court documents released Tuesday.

The gun that killed Colorado prisons director Tom Clements last week was found in the possession of recently paroled inmate Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, officials have said. Ebel died of wounds sustained in the shootout.

Texas court documents say Ebel's 1991 Cadillac Seville also contained apparent bomb-making materials and bloody clothes that have been sent to Colorado investigators.

Court records and evidence logs for the Texas Department of Public Safety's crime lab say evidence was sent from Wise County, Texas, to officials with the El Paso County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, which has been investigating Clements' death, and to the Denver Police Department, which has been investigating the death of a Domino's pizza delivery person killed in Denver two days before Clements.

Officials wrote that they discovered a Domino's bag and pizza box plus a Domino's shirt and visor in Ebel's trunk, which they sent to Denver police.

Denver police have not formally identified Ebel as a suspect in Nathan Leon's shooting death, but said the cases had "strong connections."

A black backpack inside the Cadillac's trunk contained a plastic bag with sunglasses and a mask, according to Texas court records. Blood was found on a pair of tan pants inside a cooler in the trunk.

Texas officials sent the El Paso County Sheriff's Department maps from the black backpack as well as "apparent bomb-making instructions," according to the court documents.

A spokeswoman for the Wise County Sheriff's Department did not respond to a request for comment from the Los Angeles Times. But officials there told ABC-7 News in Denver on Tuesday that Ebel's car also contained handwritten directions to Clements' home.

Citing the ongoing investigation, a spokesman for the El Paso County sheriff told The Times the department would neither confirm nor comment on the evidence detailed in the Texas court documents.

Officials have left open the possibility that Ebel did not act alone in Clements' killing, and have declined to formally confirm reports that Ebel was a member of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist prison gang.

The court documents did not precisely specify what the purported bomb-making materials were, other than "black powder" and "black powder substitute" sent to a crime laboratory for examination. Hydrated lime also was found in Ebel's trunk.

Ebel's car also contained zip ties, duct tape, a voice recorder and surveillance equipment, as well as "apparent letters from 'Nate,' " an evidence recovery log said.

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