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Vigil gets 27 months in Evan Ebel gun case

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By The Staff

DENVER — The woman who provided the gun that killed Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements was sentenced to serve 27 months in federal prison last week.

Stevie Marie Anne Vigil, of Commerce City, was sentenced Monday, March 3, by U.S. District Court Judge Christine Arguello after pleading guilty in October 2013 to the charge of knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon. 

 

Vigil also was ordered to serve three years on supervised release at the conclusion of her prison term. She was remanded into federal custody following the sentencing hearing. 

Vigil was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2013 in Denver, after previously being charged by the state in connection to purchasing and transferring a gun to a known felon in March 2013.

That felon — Evan Ebel — would later use the 9mm Smith & Wesson revoler in the shooting death of Nathan leon, a 27-year-old father of three who was killed March 17, 2013, while working as a pizza delivery driver. Ebel also was the primary suspect in the death of Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements, who was killed March 19, 2013, after answering his door at his home in Monument.

Ebel — who joined a white supremacist gang known as the “211 Crew” while in prison — also used the weapon to shoot a Texas law enforcement officers in the chest and head during a traffic stop before leading officers on a high-speed pursuit and firing at officers from the window of the car.

Ebel eventually crashed into a semi-truck during the chase and died later from injuries sustained in the collision.

        “Today’s sentence was just,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh in a statement.  “Defendant Vigil unlawfully bought a gun for Evan Ebel, knowing he was a felon, and knowing that he was capable of violence. Today’s sentence cannot restore Tom Clements or Nate Leon to their families, or undo the damage done by Ebel with that weapon. But it sends a clear message of the determination of local, state and federal law enforcement in Colorado to work together to ensure the safety of the public, and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

“Today, Stevie Vigil lost her freedom for giving a handgun to a known felon,” said George H. Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.  “Her reckless disregard for the law resulted in the cold-blooded murder of two good men-- two good fathers, husbands, and sons.  The cooperative efforts of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the pursuit of justice are the reasons Ms. Vigil received the sentence that she did.  We will continue to vigorously enforce laws that seek to keep guns out of the hands of convicted violent felons.  Those who would wantonly provide a gun to a convicted felon should note that their treatment by the justice system will be a direct reflection of the worst outcome of that felon’s use of the gun.”

“We know that gun crime in Colorado is fueled by weapons that have been trafficked into the wrong hands,” said Denver ATF Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey.  “Unfortunately, this case is an example of the destruction and violence that is inflicted on our communities and is the direct result of straw purchasing.  ATF is committed to reducing gun violence by continuing to investigate and arresting those who illegally supply firearms to prohibited individuals.”

Vigil was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hosley, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Major Crimes Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hurlbert, Assistant District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.