NEWS HEADLINES

Vigil sentenced for providing murder weapon

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Colorado woman is going to prison for providing the gun Evan Ebel used to kill two people in Colorado and shoot a Montague County deputy last March.

Stevie Marie Vigil, 23, was sentenced in federal court Monday to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of providing a firearm to a felon, according to a story in The Denver Post.

Ebel was killed in a shootout with officers in Decatur March 21, 2013.

Chase Video Released

CHASE VIDEO RELEASED – It’s been nearly a year since Evan Ebel, of Colorado, died following a chase and shootout with officers in Decatur. Authorities released video of the chase this week. View it at WCMess.com/ebel. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A court document filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver states Vigil bought a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun on March 6, 2013, and gave it to Ebel two days later outside an apartment complex in Thornton, Colo. On March 14, 2013, Ebel cut off the electronic monitoring ankle bracelet he was required to wear as a condition of his parole.

Three days later, Ebel used the firearm to kill 27-year-old pizza delivery man Nathan Leon, whom he had lured to a location in Denver, according to the court document.

Before Leon was killed, Ebel forced Leon to make a statement into a recording device in which he talks about mistreatment of prisoners who were locked in solitary confinement.

“You treated us inhumanely, and so we simply seek to do the same, we take conform in the knowledge that we leave your wives without husbands, and your children fatherless,” the statement, which apparently had some mistaken words, read in part.

Two days later, Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements was shot and killed at his home in Monument, Colo. Evidence found in Ebel’s vehicle would later tie him to both murders.

On March 21, Ebel was pulled over for a traffic violation near Bowie by Montague County Deputy James Boyd. When Boyd approached Ebel’s car, Ebel raised the gun and shot Boyd three times, including one in the head.

Boyd managed to call in a description of the vehicle as it sped away toward Wise County. Several officers joined the pursuit, and Ebel continued to fire at officers as he sped toward Decatur.

Dash camera video of the chase released Monday shows Ebel reaching speeds of close to 100 miles per hour, weaving in and out of traffic and nearly striking several vehicles as he traveled along U.S. 81/287 and then U.S. 380 Business in Decatur. Ebel wrecked when he ran into a rock hauler at the U.S. 380 and Business 380 intersection near the Sheriff’s Office, and he was killed following a brief shootout with officers.

According to the court document, the only weapon Ebel had in his possession was the handgun purchased by Vigil.

Prosecutors had been seeking a harsher penalty than the guidelines called for, asking U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello for a six-year prison sentence rather than the 21- to 27-month time frame.

According to the Post story, Arguello said there was no evidence Vigil could have predicted Ebel’s plan as she sentenced Vigil to 27 months and three years of supervised parole.

Boyd, as well as members of Leon’s family, testified Monday. All asked for the harsher punishment, according to the Post. Vigil did not testify.

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