DENVER (AP) – A man questioned in the killing of Colorado’s prisons chief brazenly tried to break into the home of a former corrections employee, repeatedly asking a neighbor if anyone was home, court documents unsealed Thursday show.
Thomas Guolee, 34, parked a stolen car in the man’s driveway and told the neighbor he was there to drop off a car but had lost his key to the garage and needed to find the residents, according to an arrest affidavit detailing the Dec. 30 burglary attempt. Guolee started shooting almost as soon as officers arrived, the document says.
A judge ordered the affidavit released after a successful bid by The Associated Press and other news outlets. But it does not say whether the latest incident involving Guolee was related to the shooting death of prisons chief Tom Clements nearly three years ago. The only suspect in the death was Evan Ebel, a paroled member of a white supremacist prison gang who was mistakenly released on parole four years early because of a clerical error.
Investigators interviewed Guolee and another member of Ebel’s gang in the weeks after the slaying, looking into whether anyone helped him plan or carry out Clements’ killing. But neither man was charged in the case.
Ebel also killed another man and fled to Texas, where he died in a shootout with authorities.
Guolee denied any involvement in the killings in a 2013 interview with The Denver Post.
He remains jailed on $1 million bond on the new charges, which include attempted murder of a police officer. His public defender, Nicholas Campbell, declined to comment.
The Colorado corrections department alerted employees to the incident after it happened. Officials have refused to release information about the former prison employee except to say he left the agency on Dec. 21 after less than four years.
Guolee has a long criminal history, including felony convictions that prevented him from legally owning a gun. His parole ended in November after several prison stints. Yet officers said they found a revolver in the pocket of his sweat pants after the attempted break-in in Colorado Springs. The car he was driving was reported stolen.
The former corrections employee was not home at the time, according to the affidavit. His wife told a 911 dispatcher she saw a man in her driveway and heard two gunshots. She barricaded herself in a bedroom with their two young children.
Guolee, who was wounded by officers’ gunfire, then drove off and crashed his car about 3 miles away.
– By SADIE GURMAN, AP Writer
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