DENVER — A Colorado parolee suspected of killing the state's prisons chief and a pizza delivery man forced the delivery man moments before his death to read a rambling statement that seemed to denounce prison officials for putting inmates into solitary confinement, according to federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Evan Ebel recorded the statement shortly before shooting Nathan Leon to death March 17. Ebel is suspected of shooting and killing Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements two days later.
The Denver Post reported Monday (http://bit.ly/1ejzYLu ) that the recording of Leon was revealed in court filings related to the upcoming sentencing of Stevie Vigil, who pleaded guilty to buying the handgun Ebel allegedly used to kill Leon and Clements.
In part, the transcript reads, "You didn't give two (expletive) about us or our families and you ensured that we were locked behind a door, to disrespect us at every opportunity, so why should we care about you and yours. In short you treated us inhumanely, and so we simply seek to do the same."
The recorder was found after Ebel died in a shootout with Texas authorities March 21. The actual recording has not been released, and the transcript contained in the court filing was the first disclosure of its existence.
"There's probably fear in his voice. He probably knew he was going to die," said Leon's mother-in-law, Bernadette Alness, who told the Post on Monday that her family had been unaware of the recording. "The thing that goes through all of our minds is the fear that Nate must have felt, being thrown in a trunk, going for a ride."
Ebel's father, Jack Ebel, said nearly 5 1/2 of the six years his son was incarcerated had been spent in solitary confinement. Evan Ebel was paroled less than two months before the slayings.