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Tom Clements' widow pushes for answers

By Evan Millward, Weekend Anchor/Reporter, evanm@kmiz.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 10:33:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 10:43:58 PM CDT
Lisa Clements

KMIZ

Lisa Clements, surrounded by her daughters, eulogizes her husband at a memorial service in April 2013 in Columbia.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

One year ago, Lisa Clements watched as her husband of nearly 30 years was gunned down in their Colorado doorway.

The family had only moved from Columbia to the Colorado Springs area about a year and a half prior, so Tom could be the head of that state's Department of Corrections.

On the anniversary of his death, Lisa Clements demanded more information and better cooperation with law enforcement. Clements had not spoken publicly about the murder since an April 2013 memorial service at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia.

"We have a lot of questions that have not yet been answered," Clements told The Denver Post and KUSA-TV on Tuesday.

Clements said the man accused of killing her husband and a pizza delivery driver has never been officially named the prime suspect.

Evan Ebel, 28, was killed in a high speed chase and shootout with law enforcement near Dallas, Texas just days after Clements' murder.

"It is very difficult for me to believe that he planned and orchestrated and financed this act himself," Clements said.

Ebel was said to have been a member of the Aryan Brotherhood within the prison system. There had been previous media reports that Ebel had a "hit list" of other targets, which may have explained his presence in Texas.

But Lisa Clements said this week there has not been any explanation for her or her family, and there has been little movement in hunting down so-called co-conspirators.

"I am concerned that the lack of coordination across all the individuals who have information  is resulting in little progress," she said.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Tuesday, ahead of the anniversary. It said, in part:

"Investigators of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and Office of the Inspector General continue to work diligently on this case to ensure we fully understand if any co-conspirators were involved with Evan Ebel ... This investigation is complex and involves the difficult task of looking at threat groups and gangs within and outside the prison system; groups who often exist for the purpose of engaging in criminal activity and do so under the auspice of anonymity."

The Denver Post also reported there had been some significant changes at the Colorado Department of Corrections in the wake of Clements' death.

The number of overall prisoners in that state had increased in the past year, a trend Clements had prided himself on reversing. The article also said the state's parole board had started to be tougher on parole violations.

Ebel had been a parolee and it was later discovered that a clerical error was responsible for him being released from prison early.

Still, Clements' widow said she had found room in her grief for anger and frustration at the anniversary.

"I'm angry that it's a year later and we don't know any more why than we did 12 months ago," Lisa Clements said.

Tom and Lisa Clements spend nearly three decades in mid-Missouri. They raised their two daughters in Columbia, in the Highlands neighborhood, and were active in Woodcrest Chapel on the southside.

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