A white supremacist prison gang that put out a fatal hit on Colorado’s prison chief earlier this year also has a county judge in its crosshairs, according to The Denver Post.
El Paso County Judge Jonathan Walker, who signed several search warrants against members of the 211 gang related to the investigation of the murder of Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, bought a gun, was given special police protection and went into hiding for earlier this month, the paper reported. He also took to wearing body armor after SWAT members told him he was a “sitting duck” at his house near a busy road.
The Post based its article on a confidential source with knowledge of sealed records and investigative reports.
Police believe paroled 211 member Evan Ebel carried out the hit against Clements, gunning him down at his home in March, after also killing a pizza delivery man. Ebel was later killed in a shootout with Texas police.
Other officials were also reportedly targeted for death.
Former Parole Director Tom Hand said he was singled out by the gang and that he’d had additional security measures installed in his Fort Collins home.
“My name came out as one of those persons they wanted,” Hand told the Post.
Clements’ murder led to widespread criticism of Colorado’s parole program, which was found to under supervise scores of parolees. Ebel had escaped from his electronic monitoring bracelet days before anyone noticed. By the time an arrest warrant was issued for him, he’d already killed Clements.
The Department of Corrections is under state and federal audits for its handling of parolees. Hand resigned from his position in the wake of the killing without giving a public explanation.
Walker is expected to return to work Monday, the Post reported, albeit with additional security.
“These guys are serious,” the paper’s source is quoted as saying. “Whether it’s legit or just jail talk to wield influence, I don’t know. Who is going to take a chance on that?”
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