The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 5, 2013

White supremacist arrested in Colo. prison chief death

Linked to murder suspect Evan Ebel


Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —

El Paso County authorities have arrested a member of a white supremacist gang linked to the killing of Colorado Corrections Director Tom Clements.

Police told CBS Affiliate KKTV that 47-year-old James Lohr, the 211 gang member linked to murder suspect Evan Ebel, was arrested overnight. The El Paso County Sheriff's Department also confirmed the arrest to KKTV.

KRDO-TV reports Lohr was taken into custody early Friday following a short foot chase after authorities stopped a car. Authorities want to question Lohr in connection to Clements' murder.

Another member of the gang, 32-year-old Thomas Goulee, is still wanted.

Authorities believe the two men were in contact with gang associate Evan Ebel days before the murders of Clements and pizza delivery man Nate Leon.

Lohr and Guolee aren't being called suspects in the death of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, but their names have surfaced during the investigation, El Paso County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer said. He wouldn't elaborate.

Kramer said Lohr and Guolee are known associates of the 211 Crew. That's the same gang whose members included Evan Ebel, who is suspected of fatally shooting Clements on March 19 and a pizza deliveryman two days earlier.

Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities after the deaths.

Investigators have said Ebel is the only suspect in Clements' death but haven't given a motive. But they have said they're looking into his connection to the gang he joined while in prison, and whether that was connected to the attack.

The 211 gang is one of the most vicious white supremacist groups operating in U.S. prisons, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups. It was founded in 1995 to protect white prisoners from attacks and operates only in Colorado, according to the center.

Lohr was being sought on warrants out of Las Animas County for a bail violation and a violation of a protection order, according to court records.

He was arrested in Trinidad on Dec. 1, 2012, while hanging out with some friends at a tattoo shop because police said he was drinking in violation of the protection order. The name of the person being protected by the order was redacted from the documents. The court issued a warrant for his arrest after her failed to appear in that case on Feb. 20.

Guolee is a parolee who served time for intimidating a witness and giving a pawnbroker false information, among other charges, court records show. State corrections records show he served time for offenses in El Paso County before being paroled in southeastern Colorado.

His father, Phil Guolee of Wisconsin told The Denver Post that his son had been in prison since he was 18, is bipolar and wasn't able to have his medication in prison.

"He couldn't get any help, he couldn't get a good lawyer, couldn't get anything for him in Colorado," he said.

Ebel joined the 211 Crew after he entered prison in 2005 for a string of assault and menacing charges that combined for an eight-year sentence. He was supposed to spend an extra four years in prison for punching a prison officer in the face in 2006, but a clerical error led that sentence to be recorded as one to be served simultaneously with his previous sentences.

He was released on parole Jan. 28.

Records show that the vendor operating the electronic monitoring bracelet that Ebel wore noted a "tamper alert" March 14. Corrections officials left a message for Ebel telling him to report in two days and have the bracelet repaired, records show.

The next day, for the first time since his release, Ebel did not call in for his daily phone check-in.

On March 16, he missed his appointment to repair the bracelet. Only on the following day do the records show that a note was made in the corrections system that he failed to show up.

By then, Leon, a father of three, was shot and killed after answering a call for a pizza at a Denver truck stop.

On March 18, parole officers contacted Ebel's father, who said he was concerned his son had fled and gave them permission to search Ebel's apartment. The next afternoon, two parole officers concluded he had fled.

Hours later, Clements answered his doorbell and was fatally shot.

The next morning, still unaware of a connection with the most recent slaying, the state issued a warrant for Ebel's arrest on parole violations.

A sheriff's deputy in rural Texas pulled Ebel over March 21, but he fled. Ebel was killed in the shootout that followed.

Clements, born in St. Louis, worked for 31 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, both in prison and as a parole officer, before he joined the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2011.