State Audit Results In 300 Revised Prison Sentences

DENVER (CBS4)– Nearly 300 prison sentences have been changed as a result of a state audit that was initiated after a man who killed the Colorado prisons chief was let out too soon.

Evan Ebel (credit: Department of Corrections)

Evan Ebel (credit: Department of Corrections)

Evan Ebel died in a shootout with law enforcement officers in Texas shortly after he was released from prison.

Results of the state audit were released on Wednesday, the same day as a court appearance of a woman charged with providing Ebel with the gun that he used to kill Tom Clements and Nathan Leon.

Stevie Vigil appeared in court on March 28, 2013 (credit: CBS)

Stevie Vigil appeared in court on March 28, 2013 (credit: CBS)

The detention hearing for Stevie Vigil was postponed when her federal public defender withdrew due to a conflict. That conflict was not made public in court.

Ebel was released from prison four years too soon because of a miscommunication between the court and prison system.

That led to an audit to determine if there were other similar mistakes.

Judges have changed 276 cases, 1,200 others questioned were left untouched.

“I think the citizens can rest assured that new legislation fully implemented that errors will be caught at the front end,” said Department of Corrections Executive Director Alison Morgan.

Some of those already released from prison were sent back to the Dept. of Corrections.

Former Denver District Court Judge Christina Habas believes some of the sentencing problems may have come from her court.

When asked if it surprised her that errors had occurred Habas replied, “No it does not. It’s a human system.”

Habas went on to explain the law is very complex and errors between concurrent and consecutive sentences can occur, especially in cases involving escapes.

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