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Police arrest second man in Colorado prison chief slaying probe

Thomas Guolee, 31, is seen in an undated handout photo from the Colorado Department of Corrections. REUTERS/Colorado Department of Correctio
Thomas Guolee, 31, is seen in an undated handout photo from the Colorado Department of Corrections. REUTERS/Colorado Department of Correctio

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A second white supremacist identified as a "person of interest" in the killing of Colorado's prisons chief has been arrested on an unrelated felony warrant, police said on Thursday.

Thomas James Guolee, 31, was taken into custody in Colorado Springs on a felony warrant unrelated to the slaying of Tom Clements, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Clements, appointed two years ago as executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was gunned down at his home south of Denver on March 19 in what investigators said appeared to be a targeted killing.

Police suspect he was shot to death by parolee Evan Spencer Ebel, who belonged to a Colorado-based, neo-Nazi prison gang known as the 211 Crew.

Ebel, 28, died following a shootout with police near Decatur, Texas, two days after Clements was killed.

Police said they began searching for Guolee and another reputed 211 Crew member, James Franklin Lohr, when their names surfaced in the Clements' murder investigation. Authorities described them both as "persons of interest" but not suspects in the slaying.

Lohr, 47, was arrested in Colorado Springs last week after leading police on a car and foot chase and was held in lieu of $250,000 bond for felony eluding and on outstanding warrants unrelated to the Clements case.

Guolee has been detained on a no-bond hold for parole violations, the sheriff's office said.

Both Lohr and Guolee were known associates of Ebel, police said, and Lohr had been in contact with Ebel shortly before Clements was killed.

Investigators said ballistics testing on the handgun used by Ebel in the gun battle with Texas police matched the weapon used to kill Clements.

Denver police also have named Ebel as a suspect in the shooting death of pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon. A search of Ebel's car after the Texas shootout turned up a pizza delivery shirt, a pizza box and heat bag.

Authorities said Ebel was mistakenly released from prison four years early due to miscommunication between the sentencing judge and prison officials. And Corrections Department records revealed he had skipped out on his parole days before the killings of Leon and Clements.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Paul Simao)

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