COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An El Paso County judge became the target of a violent white supremacist gang and was forced into hiding, according to an article in Monday's edition of the Denver Post.
The newspaper reported the 211 Crew ordered a hit on El Paso County Judge Jonathan L. Walker in retaliation for his work in the Tom Clements murder investigation.
Denver Post reporter Kirk Mitchell said his anonymous source in the article was someone "who has direct access to and knowledge of sealed court documents including investigative files."
KRDO NewsChannel 13 worked on confirming the story Monday. The Department of Corrections, the spokesperson for Colorado courts and Judge Walker wouldn't comment.
The reason behind Walker's vacation is still up in the air. The Denver Post reports the 211 crew ordered a hit against the judge because he signed search warrants in the Clements murder investigation. It reports Walker bought a gun, was placed under police protection and went into hiding.
The Denver Post reported its anonymous source confirmed the 211 crew ordered the slaying of Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Clements.
Clements was shot to death at his Monument home in March. The incident happened days after pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon was killed. Investigators believe Denver parolee Evan Ebel is responsible for the two killings. He died in a shoot out with deputies in Texas. Ebel may have established his ties with the 211 Crew during his time behind bars.
The spokesperson for Colorado Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District and County Courts, Rob McCallum, confirmed Walker was away on vacation for two weeks. He returned to the bench Monday. McCallum said Walker was not on a leave of absence, he took time off on his own. McCallum would not answer why the judge took a vacation and said he would not discuss security issues.
Judge Walker wouldn't comment Monday.
The Department of Corrections spokesperson would not comment on security issues or gangs in the state's prison system because it involved ongoing murder investigations.
Colorado Springs police said its officers were not providing protection for the judge. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office wouldn't return phone calls to confirm if its deputies were protecting the judge.
According to a biography on the Colorado State Judicial Branch's website, Walker was appointed to the county court bench in May 2007. He previously served as a deputy public defender for nine years in the Office of the State Public Defender.