Gun link, but many questions in corrections death

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm •  Published: March 25, 2013
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Standing with her two daughters, Lisa Clements, a psychologist who oversees Colorado's state mental health institutes, said her husband of 28 years would want justice as well as forgiveness.

"We want everyone who hears Tom's story to know that he lived his life believing in redemption, in the ability of the human heart to be changed. He would want justice certainly but moreover he'd want forgiveness. Our family prays for the family of the man who took Tom's life and we will pray for forgiveness in our own hearts and our own peace," she said.

Hickenlooper, who hired Clements about two years ago, told mourners that he was both pragmatic and principled.

"He had common sense and he had courage," Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper is a longtime friend of the suspect's father, attorney Jack Ebel, who testified two years ago before state lawmakers that solitary confinement was destroying his son's psyche.

Hickenlooper confirmed he mentioned the case to Clements as an example of why the prison system needed reform before the job was offered, but the governor said he did not mention Evan Ebel by name.

There was no indication that Hickenlooper's relationship with Jack Ebel played a role in the shooting. Hickenlooper said he did not having any role in Evan Ebel's parole in January.

Jack Ebel issued a statement offering condolences to all those who have suffered from his son's actions.

Clements, born in St. Louis, worked for 31 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, both in prison and as a parole officer, before being hired in Colorado. He began a review of the state's solitary confinement system and eventually reduced the number of prisoners being held in solitary confinement. He closed a new prison built specifically to hold such prisoners — Colorado State Penitentiary II.

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Associated Press writer Dan Elliott contributed to this report