DENVER (CBS4)– Suspected murderer Evan Ebel’s personality changed a lot after he was paroled according to a friend of his behind bars.

Ebel has been linked to the murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements and pizza delivery man Nathan Leon. He was shot and killed in a shootout after a high-speed chase in Texas.

Ryan Pettigrew met Ebel when they were both locked up in solitary confinement at the Colorado State Penitentiary.

The two would secretly pass notes to stay in touch.

“We have a system set up so where we can get notes to anyone around the facility,” said Pettigrew.

He said they were both tortured in administrative segregation.

“When you are subjected to getting poked with a stick every single day by your captors you develop a deep-rooted hatred,” said Pettigrew.

When Ebel was paroled in January he contacted Pettigrew.

“He got out and contacted me and he was struggling, he was telling me he couldn’t sleep, he was freaking out around people, he didn’t know what to do,” said Pettigrew.

Ebel’s father helped him get a job at a law firm and a place to live.

“To go through what he did even with the help of his family is almost impossible,” said Pettigrew.

After a while he said Ebel started to change and become agitated.

“You could see in his eyes the anxiety and the anger were starting to win, so we stopped talking to each other,” said Pettigrew.

Ebel was also keeping in contact with friends who were still in prison.

“He was giving money to people and keeping in touch and maintaining his word because he said he was going to do these things,” said Pettigrew.

Pettigrew also said he doesn’t believe Ebel was carrying out a prison gang hit. Instead he believes he acted alone in a fit of rage.

Ebel was a member of a white supremacist gang.


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