Colo. Woman Accused of Buying Gun for Ebel

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Evan Spencer Ebel is suspected in the shooting deaths of Tom Clements on March 19 and pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon, as well as the shooting of a Montague County deputy.

    The woman accused of buying the gun used to kill Colorado's corrections chief knew the shooting suspect for years, and the two had been hanging out after he was released from prison, according to her cousin.

    Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, is accused of buying the gun and later giving it to Evan Ebel, a felon who was barred from possessing a firearm.

    Ebel is suspected in the shooting deaths of Tom Clements on March 19 and pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon two days earlier.

    Ebel was shot and killed in Wise County after shooting and wounding a Montague County deputy conducting a traffic stop.

    Vigil's cousin, Victor Baca, said Thursday he doesn't know why she may have bought the gun. He says Ebel may have intimidated her, or she may have felt she needed it for protection.

    He described Vigil as a good, hardworking girl studying to be a nurse who isn't fond of guns.

    Vigil is accused of buying the gun in early March at a gun shop in Englewood and later giving it to Evan Ebel, a felon who was barred from possessing a firearm. She was arrested late Wednesday and was being held on $25,000 bond.

    Investigators are trying to determine whether Leon was killed for his uniform with the intent of persuading Clements to open his front door. They haven't determined yet whether Ebel, 28, acted alone but say the Smith & Wesson 9 mm he used in Texas is the same gun used to kill Clements.

    El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said investigators are looking into whether Vigil knew about what Ebel was planning to do with the gun.

    Vigil made her first court appearance Thursday in Arapahoe County dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit. Her hands were cuffed and her feet shackled.

    Vigil faces one count of unlawful purchase of a firearm, a felony which carries a penalty of between two and 16 years in prison.

    The statute makes it illegal for someone to buy a firearm to transfer to a person that they know or should know isn't legally allowed to have a firearm. Vigil has no criminal record in Colorado so she would be able to pass a background check to buy a gun.

    Mark Hurlbert, assistant district attorney for Arapahoe County, declined to comment on whether there were any other charges being considered against Vigil or whether she was suspected of being a part of a conspiracy.

    Vigil's lawyer, Normando Pacheco, left the hearing without comment.

    Most documents in the case have been sealed, including an arrest affidavit that details the events leading to Virgil's arrest. Unlike other states, the sealing of court records is increasingly common in high profile cases that are under investigation.

    A judge is scheduled to consider the evidence against Vigil at a hearing on April 30.

    Ebel threatened to kill a guard while he was in prison, according to state records, one episode in a long history of misconduct behind bars.

    Within nine months of entering prison in 2005, Ebel misbehaved so badly he was placed in solitary confinement. He spent much time there because of continued threats and attacks against prison workers and other inmates.

    The new information comes from Ebel's prison record, which was released to The Associated Press on Thursday after an open records request.