DENVER — The man who killed Colorado's prisons director was a master manipulator determined to get a gun and enact his longstanding plan for violence, a federal judge said Monday as she sentenced the woman who bought the weapon.
Stevie Marie Anne Vigil, 23, who pleaded guilty to buying the handgun for Evan Ebel, a paroled member of a white supremacist prison gang accidentally released four years early, was sentenced to more than two years in prison and three years of supervised parole. Prosecutors had asked for six years for Vigil, but U.S. District Christine Arguello said they failed to show she knew of Ebel's criminal plans.
Federal prosecutors said Ebel, 28, used the gun in the March 2013 killings of prisons chief Tom Clements and Nathan Leon, a Denver computer technician and pizza delivery driver, and to wound a sheriff's deputy in Texas, where Ebel fled. He was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities.
Vigil, a friend of Ebel's since she was 11, "wanted an intimate relationship with Ebel, and he used that knowledge and information over her to get her to buy a gun that he couldn't buy himself," Arguello said.
But even if Vigil had refused, the judge said Ebel was an intelligent sociopath who would not have been stopped. He had asked others for weapon first. "Nothing would have deterred him. He would have found a way to carry out his longstanding plan."
In red jail scrubs, Vigil showed no visible reaction to the sentence.