After the murder of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements last spring by parole absconder Evan Ebel , it was obvious that the state's creaky, overburdened parole system was overdue for some serious scrutiny. Now, Governor John Hickenlooper has proposed a 25 percent boost in the parol ... More >>
It was eleven years ago today -- October 18, 2002 -- that inmate Edward Montour Jr. attacked Eric Autobee, a 23-year-old correctional officer, in the kitchen of the Limon prison, fatally bludgeoning him with a heavy ladle. To mark that grim anniversary, the victim's parents have made a startling ple ... More >>
At 4:30 a.m. today, Lakewood Police Department and West Metro SWAT reps took custody of Sean Wyles, a wanted fugitive linked to the 211 prison gang. Wyles didn't go easily. According to LPD Detective Ryan McKone, he claimed law enforcers would never take him alive, prompting a standoff that lasted ... More >>
The Colorado Department of Corrections doesn't adequately train parole officers overseeing the electronic monitoring of high-risk parolees -- such as absconder Evan Ebel, who murdered DOC director Tom Clements and another man this year -- and needs to develop more consistent and comprehensive progra ... More >>
The year began with Manuel Rodriguez being strapped into a restraint chair. It ended with Rodriguez back in the chair. At Colorado's state supermax prison, inmates get into confrontations with guards -- over food, hygiene, privileges, a refusal to "cuff up" or whatever -- out of boredom, mental il ... More >>
Evan Ebel, the man thought to have killed pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado prison chief Tom Clements, cut off his electronic ankle bracelet, and it took his chief probation officer nearly four days to do anything about it. Ebel was a hell-raising inmate and a model parolee. The question, ... More >>
At a February hearing, Edward Montour sought to withdraw his guilty plea for a 2002 murder in an effort to avoid the death penalty he'd previously sought. The office of 18th Judicial District DA George Brauchler, who's also seeking death for accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, argued agains ... More >>
It could be, and probably is, just a coincidence. But mere weeks after Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements was gunned down at his door (presumed killer Evan Ebel is also suspected of murdering pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon), and days since the second of two Texas pros ... More >>
The investigation into Evan Ebel, the man thought to have gunned down pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements, has taken another bizarre twist in a continuing series of them. On Saturday, Texas prosecutor Mike McLelland and his wife Cynth ... More >>
His doctors have told Darrell Havens that surgery could help relieve his deteriorating condition, but the wheelchair-bound inmate's keepers in the Colorado Department of Corrections aren't exactly eager to okay the operation -- or to release him to seek care on his own. Havens, who was left a quadri ... More >>
Frustrated by a decade of legal delays and setbacks, the father of slain state corrections officer Eric Autobee says that he now opposes further efforts to obtain the death penalty for inmate Edward Montour Jr. for the 2002 murder. In a recent interview, Bob Autobee also blasted the leadership of th ... More >>
Ryon Olthoff's Facebook page, featuring the memorably defiant profile shot seen here, lists him as having worked at "various positions" with the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2009-2010. Presumably, one of those gigs was "inmate" -- and he'll likely get a chance for a do-over after being cha ... More >>
Today, Mayor Michael Hancock will interview the last three candidates for Denver's open Independent Monitor position -- again. In the second round of a search that has lasted six months, finalists Kenneth Moore, Nicholas Mitchell and Gary Maas all share connections to Colorado. Last night, they answ ... More >>
Contrary to scenes in numerous books and movies, getting locked up doesn't always lead to painful bouts of reflection and self-examination. Criminals are a stubborn bunch, and it's easy behind bars to embrace a convict code and a victim mentality that merely reinforces addictive, self-destructive an ... More >>
The meeting began with a prayer. Eight hours later, it ended with Sharletta Evans feeling that she'd found much of what she'd been seeking from a face-to-face encounter with Raymond Johnson, one of the people responsible for the killing of her three-year-old son Casson seventeen years ago. She would ... More >>
After the riot, 2004. Seven years ago inmates at a private prison in southeastern Colorado went on an all-night rampage, chasing the shorthanded staff from the premises, attacking suspected snitches, setting fires and causing millions of dollars in damages. Now documents filed in a long-runni ... More >>
Big pic below.Nick Beram did everything he could to disguise himself while robbing five area banks while armed with a stun gun. During the crimes, he wore sunglasses, a dark-hooded jacket and a white surgical or dust mask. But he didn't bother to disguise his truck -- and that's why he's bee ... More >>
There are two revolving doors in every prison system. One is for the inmates, many of whom fail on parole and keep coming back. The other is reserved for top administrators who, even amid scandal, move easily from high-powered positions of public trust to high-paid jobs in the private prison ... More >>
9NewsBetsy Long, the former green-biz entrepreneur who blew a .252 blood alcohol content following a crash that killed Mary Warren, a young woman bound for the Peace Corps, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and more in December. But accepting responsibility didn't result in a small sentenc ... More >>
Dan PabonIt's inspiring, really, the way state lawmakers pull together when a matter of great social consequence is at stake. Such seems to be the case with the rapid move through committee this week of House Bill 1058, sponsored by Denver Democrat Dan Pabon, which would prevent poor folks fr ... More >>
Krystal VossEven under the best of circumstances, prison is an exercise in humiliation. But life just got a little less nasty for female inmates at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, who no longer have to spread open their genitalia for invasive cavity searches after a family visit. P ... More >>
Troy Anderson hasn't been exposed to direct sunlight since 2000.Troy Anderson knows he's never going to get out of prison alive. He's spent 23 of his forty years on the inside, and though he's never killed anyone, he's currently serving a 75-year sentence on multiple counts for two shootouts ... More >>
Inmates claim Ronald Ferguson had been in the unit only a few hours when he was killed.Last week, we reported on the bludgeoning death of inmate Ronald Ferguson, a convicted child molester, at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility outside of Canon City. A fifty-year-old habitual off ... More >>
View Larger Map This just in from the Adams County District Attorney's Office. Late yesterday, Kevin Duane Stunes was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Nancy Bannock last Thanksgiving at 1616 E. 78th Avenue, an area captured in the graphic above (if you have problems seeing the image, cl ... More >>
Photo by John Johnston There's plenty to get disgusted about in the story of a Colorado female inmate who was awarded $1.3 million in damages for two years' worth of sexual assaults by a male guard. As this report in the Denver Post recounts, federal judge David Ebel blasted the Colorado Department ... More >>
How does DA Carol Chambers beat the high cost of a death-penalty prosecution? By billing the prison system.
Taking stock of kitchen slang.
At least one out of every five Colorado prisoners is mentally ill -- some violent, some undetected or untreated. How did the Big House become the Bug House?
Roan and Groan
Inmates blow the whistle on male guards at a Pueblo women's prison.
This place is a zoo!
Joseph Paiva was born defective, but prosecutors stamped him a habitual criminal.
The sordid legal saga of Katica Crippen, Second Amendment pinup girl.
A year in the life of the state's most dysfunctional prison.
The Department of Corrections cooks up a culinary program for prisoners.
A gruesome crime. A bizarre defense. Can a crusading author reopen her best friend's case?
How inmate phone services lock up profits.
Colorado's cheap solution to prison overcrowding has cost inmates plenty. It could cost the state millions.
As its inmate population ages, the Colorado prison system discovers there's no con like an old con.
Colorado gambles millions on a second last chance for violent teens