DENVER (AP) – The woman accused of providing the gun used to kill Colorado’s prisons chief will be held behind bars as she awaits trial in federal court.
U.S. Magistrate Boyd Boland denied bond for 22-year-old Stevie Marie Vigil Monday, calling her a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Vigil has been charged with giving a gun to a felon, Evan Ebel, the only suspect named in the March 19 slaying of state corrections chief Tom Clements. Authorities also believe Ebel was involved in the shooting death of computer technician and pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon two days before Clements was killed answering the door of his home.
Ebel, 28, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers in Texas days after Clements was killed.
Vigil’s new lawyer, federal public defender Daniel T. Smith, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf on Monday. Smith said he couldn’t comment on the reports because he hasn’t reviewed evidence in the case.
Documents in the Clements investigation are sealed. But according to investigative reports obtained by The Denver Post, Vigil told investigators that she knew Ebel since she was a child and they kept in touch while he was in prison.
According to the reports, Vigil said they reunited after his release from prison in January and she considered Ebel her boyfriend. She allegedly told investigators that she bought the 9 mm Smith & Wesson for her own protection March 6 and kept it in a pink plastic bag in the truck of a friend’s car.
However, the reports also quote another woman who considered herself Ebel’s girlfriend. She told investigators that she was present March 8 when two women gave Ebel a pink plastic bag.
Vigil had been charged in state court in Arapahoe County with providing a gun to a felon, but prosecutors dropped that case Aug. 9, three days before she was to go on trial, in cooperation with federal prosecutors. The federal charge carries a tougher penalty of up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Vigil’s lawyer in the Arapahoe County case, Normando Pacheco, has said Ebel forced Vigil to buy the gun.
Vigil had been released on bond in the state case. Her trial is tentatively scheduled to begin Oct. 7.
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