DENVER - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he's a close friend of the father of the paroled prisoner who may be linked to the killing of the head of the state prisons.
Hickenlooper says he and attorney Jack Ebel, father of Evan Spencer Ebel, worked for the same oil company when Hickenlooper was a geologist.
Hickenlooper issued the following statement regarding the connection:
"Every killer has a mother and father, usually with broken hearts. I met Jack Ebel some 30 years ago when working for an oil company soon after moving to Colorado. Jack is one of the most kind and generous people I know. His son had a bad streak that I know he tried desperately to correct.
"Although Jack loved his son, he never asked me to intervene on his behalf and I never asked for any special treatment for his son. Based on information we received today, we understand that Evan Ebel served every day of his original sentence and was released on mandatory parole at the end of the time he was ordered to be incarcerated.
"The events of the past few days have been devastating for all involved. I am in shock and disbelief about how everything seems connected in this case. It makes no sense. Tom's death at the hands of someone hell-bent on causing evil was tragic in every way. It also now appears Tom's killer may have had another victim. Our hearts and prayers are with Nathan Leon's family as well. We are most appreciative for law enforcement at all levels in Colorado and Texas and are anxious to learn more as the investigation continues."
Evan Ebel was fatally shot by deputies in Texas on Thursday. Colorado authorities are investigating whether he was involved in the death of Tom Clements, director of the state Department of Corrections.
Evan Ebel had been in prison off and on beginning in 2003, including time in solitary.