Circumstantial, yet troubling, evidence exists suggesting a connection between the man who killed Colorado’s state corrections chief and a convicted Saudi Arabian man, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on Wednesday.
Maddow said that the link, though tenuous so far, surfaced in a “hit list” of more than 20 public officials found in a vehicle belonging to Evan Ebel, who was killed in a shootout with authorities in Texas on March 21, 2013 — two days after Ebel himself shot and killed Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements at his home. Also found in Ebel’s vehicle, Maddow explained, were a gun and a pizza delivery uniform connecting Ebel to the killing of 27-year-old Nathan Leon, two days before Clements was killed.
The Denver Post reported that at least one of the officials named on the list said, “I didn’t know Evan Ebel, and I had no contact with Evan Ebel.”
However, Maddow said, that same official — speaking on condition of anonymity because of the threat against him — did “have some involvement” with a seemingly separate case involving Homaidan al-Turki.
Al-Turki, a former graduate student at the University of Colorado, was convicted in June 2006 and sentenced to 28 years in prison for sexually assaulting his housekeeper and keeping her imprisoned in his family home. He has consistently denied the charges against him, attributing them to Islamophobia.
KDVR-TV reported in November 2013 that state and federal officials had reached a deal to transfer al-Turki back to Saudi Arabia to complete his sentence, only for it to be stopped by the Federal Bureau of Investigations in January 2013. That March, nine days before his death, Clements signed the document officially rejecting al-Turki’s transfer request.
“Mister al-Turki has denied any involvement in Tom Clements’ murder,” Maddow said. “His lawyer has called any speculation to the contrary outrageous. And, you know, rightly so. Mister al-Turki is only circumstantially linked at all. It’s all just circumstantial. And it all could very well be a coincidence of timing. But where did that hit list come from? And if there are more than 20 people, more than 20 public officials on that hit list — some of whom had no conceivable connection to the killer — then who put those names on the hit list for him?”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Wednesday on MSNBC, below.