Share This Page

Colorado authorities probe how much gun buyer knew

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 3:52 p.m.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Investigators are looking into how much the woman who allegedly bought the gun used to kill Colorado's corrections director Tom Clements knew about the slaying, authorities said Thursday.

Stevie Marie Vigil, 22, is accused of buying the gun in early March at a gun shop in Englewood and later giving it to Evan Ebel, a felon who was barred from possessing a firearm. She was arrested late Wednesday and was being held on $25,000 bond.

Ebel, who died after a shootout in Texas last week, is suspected in the shooting deaths of Clements on March 19 and of pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon two days before.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Leon was killed for his uniform with the intent of persuading Clements to open his front door. They haven't determined yet whether Ebel, 28, acted alone but say the Smith & Wesson 9 mm he used in Texas is the same gun used to kill Clements.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said investigators are looking into whether Vigil knew about what Ebel was planning to do with the gun.

Vigil made her first court appearance Thursday in Arapahoe County dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit. Her hands were cuffed and her feet shackled.

Vigil faces one count of unlawful purchase of a firearm, a felony which carries a penalty of between two and 16 years in prison.

The statute makes it illegal for someone to buy a firearm to transfer to a person that they know or should know isn't legally allowed to have a firearm. Vigil has no criminal record in Colorado so she would be able to pass a background check to buy a gun.

Mark Hurlbert, assistant district attorney for Arapahoe County, declined to comment on whether there were any other charges being considered against Vigil or whether she was suspected of being a part of a conspiracy.

Vigil's lawyer, Normando Pacheco, left the hearing without comment.

It's not clear how Vigil and Ebel knew each other.

Most documents in the case have been sealed, including an arrest affidavit that details the events leading to Virgil's arrest. Unlike other states, the sealing of court records is increasingly common in high profile cases that are under investigation.

A judge is scheduled to consider the evidence against Vigil at a hearing on April 30.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.