A white supremacist parolee suspected of killing Colorado's prisons chief and a pizza delivery man had been released from prison four years early due to a clerical error, a court spokesman said on Monday.
Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was killed last month in a shootout with police near Decatur, Texas. Police said following Ebel's death that he was a suspect in the murders of Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, and pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon.
Ebel had been released early due to a paperwork error made by a judicial assistant following his sentencing, the chief judge and district administrator for the 11th Judicial District said in a joint statement. The statement did not say when Ebel was released.
"The district has undertaken a review of its practices in an effort to avoid a re-occurrence of this circumstance. The court regrets this oversight and extends condolences to the families of Mr. Nathan Leon and Mr. Tom Clements," Chief Judge Charles Barton and District Administrator Walter Blair said in the statement.
Clements, 58, was shot to death on March 19 when he answered the door at his home in secluded woods near the town of Monument, 45 miles south of Denver. Leon was killed in the Denver area two days earlier.
Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang, the 211 Crew, and had served time in Colorado prisons and had been paroled in the Denver area.