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Woman arrested in supplying of gun that killed Colo. prisons chief

March 28, 2013|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
  • Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, of Commerce City, Colo., is accused of illegally transferring the gun authorities say was used to kill Colorado's prisons chief.
Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, of Commerce City, Colo., is accused of illegally… (Associated Press )

HOUSTON — Colorado authorities have arrested a woman accused of illegally transferring the gun allegedly used to kill the state prisons chief, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators believe Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, of Commerce City, Colo., legally bought the gun from a licensed dealer in the Denver suburb of Englewood before transferring it to Evan Ebel, 28, a felon barred from possessing a firearm, the CBI said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Ebel, who died last week after allegedly using the same gun in a shootout with officers in Wise County, Texas, is suspected in the shooting deaths of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements, 58, on March 19 and Nathan Leon, 27, who was shot March 17 while working as a pizza delivery driver around Denver. El Paso County, Colo., sheriff’s investigators have said ballistic evidence shows Ebel used the same gun in Colorado and Texas.

“Oftentimes referred to as a 'straw purchase,' investigators believe Vigil purchased the firearm from a licensed firearms dealer in Englewood, and allegedly transferred the weapon to Evan Ebel, a convicted felon who could not legally possess a firearm,” the CBI said in its statement. “The licensed firearms dealer has been extremely cooperative with investigators, and had no knowledge of Vigil's alleged actions following her legal purchase of the gun.”

Vigil was arrested Wednesday on one felony count of unlawful purchase of a firearm, her bail set at $25,000.

It’s not clear how she met Ebel. The warrant for her arrest remained sealed Thursday, and an El Paso County, Colo., sheriff’s spokesman said no additional information would be released Thursday.

Officials also had not revealed the identity of the Denver-area gun dealer Thursday.

Ebel had been sentenced to four years in prison for punching a prison guard in 2008, according to state records. He was paroled Jan. 28 after serving his full prison term, corrections officials have said. His record also includes pleading guilty to holding a pistol to someone’s head and stealing his wallet.

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