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Colorado murderer mistakenly paroled in 2002

DENVER, June 12 (UPI) — Corrections officials in Colorado say they have fixed the error after it was revealed a convicted killer was mistakenly released in 2002.

The erroneous release on parole of Clifton Blecha, a white supremacist killer, after a key sentencing document was lost in the bureaucratic shuffle, came before the Department of Corrections set free another inmate, Evan Ebel, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

Ebel is believed to have killed prisons chief Tom Clements in March. Ebel was later shot to death in Texas during a chase and shootout with law enforcement.

Problems with mittimus, the document courts send to prison officials that determines how long an inmate serves in prison, have been blamed for hundreds of errors allowing early releases of prisoners, including Blecha and Ebel, the newspaper said.

“We’ve done a lot of work to make sure that never happens again. It’s old news,” said Mary Carlson, manager of time and release operations of Colorado’s Department of Corrections.

The newspaper noted a mittimus sent by a Fremont, Colo., court to the Department of Corrections did not specify a new conviction against Ebel, for striking a correctional officer while in prison, was to be served after his prior robbery sentence. The Department interpreted the sentence to be served concurrent to the previous sentence, allowing his early release.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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